“Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart.” – 1 Peter 1:22

WHY DO we try to rationalize our mistakes?

More often than not, we force ourselves to believe that our faults are reasonable and mistakes are part of human frailty. Instead of admitting our shortcomings and humbly asking for forgiveness, we justify our mistakes. We allow ourselves to rationalize our delusions because we are scared to be held accountable.

The truth is hard to admit when we are consumed by the fear of changing something that we have been accustomed to. We refuse to acknowledge our mistakes by dwelling on the excuses that we have formulated in our minds.

The desire to rationalize my mistakes caused me the worst fight with my mother. It started when she asked me subtly what kept me busy because I was already neglecting my responsibility to my family. I immediately became defensive and pretended to be hurt by what she said. I turned my mother’s concern against her because I assumed that I was going to be in trouble if she found out that I was only hanging around with my friends. What started as a polite parental inquiry turned out to be a huge argument.

In the course of the “war,” I was unmindful of the harsh words I uttered. I accused her of terrible things to make her feel miserable.

Our communication ceased after the bitter exchange of words. I sought solitude in my room to avoid her. I skipped dinner and pretended I was asleep.

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I know I was acting childishly but my pride kept me from reaching out because I found it easier to turn a blind eye than ask forgiveness. I sustained my anger by constantly reminding myself that she deserved my hostility.

It took a while before I summoned the courage to admit my fault and sincerely ask for forgiveness. I avoided finding the easy way out in lying. Gradually, our relationship improved.

Rationalizing our faults desensitizes our conscience because these “reasonable” mistakes lull us into commiting sin. Rationalizing has become a license to bend the truth for our selfish motives.

When we deliberately cause other people agony, no lies or logic can justify our actions. No amount of reasoning can rationalize our behavior.

God gave us the ability to rationalize. We must, however, not use this ability to offend and hurt others. He gave us this ability so that unlike animals, we live our lives filled with meaning, love, and respect.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, forgive us for the times we have chosen to live under the shadows of our lies. Make us humble enough to have the courage to face our faults. I pray that You may guide our judgments and strengthen our faith so that truth may always reflect in our lives. AMEN. Mary Rose M. Pabelonia

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