Proverbs 14:12 – There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Have you ever said to yourself, “Just once couldn’t hurt, could it?”. Or maybe you think, “If no one knows, then it will be okay.” Sadly, we often play these sorts of mind games with ourselves. We usually know better, and knowing makes the sin worse (Luke 12:48). Looking back we are repulsed by our sin, and we bring condemnation upon ourselves, putting lust and pride before the Lord, loving darkness more than light (John 2:16; 3:19).
King David was subject to the same failings as modern man. The Bible tells us that one day when normally kings would have been off to war, David decided to stay home while his soldiers went to fight in his name. Lounging around the palace, David went up to the rooftop to gaze down at Jerusalem. From his position, he saw a beautiful woman bathing. David decided that he had to have her. Thus, the once noble man set upon a path of sin, deceit, and murder that affected generations, and it started when he was not about his kingly duty (2 Samuel 11:1-27).
Today, we might categorize this type of rationalization under the heading of situational ethics. When we decide we want to do something, we make all manner of excuses for our behavior. We say things like, “I was hungry.” Or, “I was in debt.” Or worse, “I was lonely.” Even murderers justify their actions in their own eyes. This is the way that seems right to us, but this path leads to destruction and death.
Some simple instruction from Jesus could help us here. When Jesus was found by His earthly parents, having been with the doctors of the law in the Temple, they asked why He had treated them poorly in not telling them where He was going. The implication from Mary is that Jesus was wrong in not coming with them. Jesus simple asks her to examine her self, saying, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”(Luke 2:48-49).
Jesus was always going about to do the will of the Father. This should be our motive as well. We err because we seek our own pleasure and not that of the Father. May God help us to take a closer look at what we are doing and ask, “Am I about my Father’s business?”