I was trying to work out one day and accidently twisted my ankle.
It bothered me for a bit but as the day went on it seemed to be feeling better. Still, I had a suspicion that it would feel worse the next day which tended to be the case when I had muscle injuries in the past. But after it got dark, I still didn’t feel much pain and I thought maybe I didn’t need to be as careful to avoid putting much weight on my foot the way I had been. Sure, it was still uncomfortable but the pain of walking on it wasn’t too bad so I convinced myself into entertaining the idea that it wasn’t going to be a big deal.
But I was wrong, very wrong. I went from mild pain to thinking of sleeping in the living room instead of going to the bed to avoid the pain caused by moving with my ankle. Even the slightest movement of my hurt ankle that was caused by hopping on my good foot resulted in a lot of pain. Although I did eventually make it to my bedroom it didn’t seem to do me much good because didn’t sleep that night. Regardless of how I positioned myself and tried to elevate my foot to lessen the sharp pain caused by the slightest strain on my ankle that night, the pain was so intense I could not sleep.
Needless to say, I deeply regretted the additional pain I had after reasoning myself out of taking the precautions to avoid causing any more strain to an already hurt ankle. But it did teach me a good lesson. Sometimes in our spiritual walk with the Lord we do things we know could strain our relationship with God. But it is easy to reason ourselves out of concern by telling ourselves the slight compromising we make in our lives are not that bad, especially if it is for a “good reason” like when I walked on my hurt foot ankle so I could check on somethings because not being careful was faster.
We might think we can promote God’s word more effectively regarding certain issues while rationalizing our support or defense of behavior that goes against Biblical principles in how we go about it because it is convenient. We may like to believe that the ends justify the means on the method we used to get there while compromising Godly principles by ignoring the damage certain things do in order to “help” promote a seemingly correct religious agenda is worth it. But that is false. You can cause far more harm in your soul and your witness to others by going about trying to promote good things with a wrong attitude than by not doing anything at all.
Because once someone is wounded and develops an ugly picture of God any other attempt to make them see God clearly is much more difficult if not in vain, much like my desperate attempt to ease the additional pain from my sprained ankle by changing my position so I could sleep. Even though I was being far more careful with my ankle than I was a bit before, I still felt the damage during my attempts to do better. Likewise, even if someone tries to demonstrate the love of God better than the person has seen in the past, the previous experience can still have a negative impact on the person’s current view of God.
And for yourself, it is far easier to lose your soul while telling yourselves you are doing right or at least that what you are doing isn’t as harmful as it is than by honestly avoiding the Lord altogether. When we are honest about what is wrong, we can face what we need to change, which is necessarily to make a choice. But when numb our convictions of sin by minimizing or deflecting from what we know is wrong in life we will not repent.
We too easily fool ourselves into thinking good motives or outward actions are compensation for not following God completely like King Saul. “But Samuel replied: ‘Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.’” 1 Samuel 15:22. Ignoring the slight pain of sin at first will cause more pain later so don’t talk yourself into thinking it isn’t so bad because it is, even if you think your reasons are good.
Picture originally found here