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Fit me, or me fit you

Have you ever engaged in one of those moments where you just go on and on bragging about one of your recent escapades? It is as though we have no sense of awareness of just how we sound when we recount the stuff we have engaged in. In fact, some of us even appear to have a sense of pride with acknowledging our insane folly! Now, I am not one to "parade" my folly in public on a common basis, but I have to admit - I have done it. Truth be told, I have a hard enough time admitting to my failure in private without having to flaunt it for the world to see!

Fools make fun of guilt, but the godly acknowledge it and seek reconciliation. (Proverbs 14:9)

What it is we do with our "guilt" when our escapades have been less than honorable? The fool makes fun of the guilt or remorse they feel. Try as we might, we really cannot rid ourselves of the sense of guilt with simply laughing it away or making light of it in our social circles. If we dismiss our guilt long enough, we become almost "immune" to the sense of guilt we feel about a certain behavior. We begin to justify it and form an "opinion" that that particular action is okay - if not for others, at least for us. In some circles, this is similar to something referred to as "situational ethics". 

In the simplest sense, situational ethics holds the belief that the end justifies the means. When we operate with this interpretation of life events, we find it easy to set aside rules and regulations whenever we feel the "greater good" will be served by our actions. To truly understand situational ethics we must understand the concepts taught by Joseph Fletcher when he reported this as the "fulfillment" of Christ's instructions to love unconditionally. He believed their were no absolute laws other than the law of agape love - unconditional love. To this end, the consequences (or outcomes) of any action did not really matter because the end (love) justified the means. Now, if you cannot see the danger in this belief system, it is time to really go back to scripture to see what Christ taught.

Jesus always began with "love God" and then he taught to love "your neighbor" as yourself. You cannot ever "love God" if you throw out the absolutes he proclaims - things like don't cheat, don't covet, don't have any other god before me, and the list could go on. These are absolutes in God's kingdom. Jesus was teaching we need to embrace the absolutes of God's kingdom and this will result in us being able to love our neighbor. The end, in this case, is justified by the means - the means being the keeping of God's command to love him whole-heartedly (with all we've got). Fools make fun of guilt - but the godly acknowledge it. 

It is one thing to acknowledge something - it is another to do something with the knowledge we have! The godly doesn't stop with an admission of guilt - they go on to the place of obeying one of God's absolutes - confession! Scripture teaches us to bring our sins to Christ and there we will find forgiveness. It is not an exercise of excusing our sin - it is an erasure of the stain of the sin and the ability to walk away from the pull to do the same dumb sin again. What we do with our guilt determines the end of our guilt. We can flaunt it openly, proclaiming the end justified the means. Or...if we are wise....we can confess it, seeking forgiveness and restoration at the foot of the cross. 

The first method of dealing with our guilt will only "numb" us to the experience of guilt - it never removes it. The latter not only removes it, it gives us the ability to walk away from the very action which produced the guilt in the first place. The fool chooses to continue the pursuit of the action which produces the guilt - the wise choose to turn away from it, seeing no justification for or in their sin. It is truly a dangerous thing to "pick up" a false set of beliefs - those which veer from the truth clearly outlined in scripture. We can "interpret" scripture and reflect upon it with all kinds of "opinion". The danger comes when we form a set of beliefs which "fit our actions" instead of us allowing God to "fit our actions" to his Word! Just sayin!

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