Humans are an interesting study. We’re especially good at spiritualizing sin to justify getting something we want. Jacob’s story is a great example.
Jacob’s brother, Esau, was destined to receive the family blessing. Trouble was, mother Rebekah favored Jacob and wanted him to receive the blessing instead. And so she and Jacob devised a plot to get what they wanted.
Isaac asked Esau to hunt wild game and then cook a meal for him with the catch. He promised to bestow the blessing on him after he’d eaten. When Esau left the house, the devious duo put their plan into action. Jacob killed two young goats and Rebekah prepared a delicious meal. Then Jacob disguised himself as Esau and delivered the food to his dad before Esau returned.
Isaac must have felt somewhat suspicious for he asked, “How did you find the game so quickly?” Jacob replied, “The LORD your God put it in my path” (Genesis 27:20).
Huh? God did what? Not according to what’s written in my Bible.
Jacob and his mom so desperately wanted the blessing that they spiritualized their sin of deception. Their story happened many generations ago, but the same thing happens today. For example, I’ve heard married people involved in adulterous relationships say, “God wants me to feel happy so He put this man/woman in my life.” Truth be told, they’re trying to spiritualize their sin to justify their behavior.
I recently heard about a group of believers who meet weekly to watch X-rated movies. They call it their “small group curriculum.” Here’s their logic: “By watching what unbelievers watch, we’ll better understand their thinking so we can engage them in discussion about spiritual values.” Their means to accomplishing a desired end is ludicrous. They’re spiritualizing sin to the nth degree.
Here’s one more example. We’ve heard of certain televangelists who ask their constituents to send funds to expand their ministry. Truth be told, the money isn’t building God’s kingdom; it’s expanding their personal kingdoms thanks to spiritualizing their sin of greed.
When we take our eyes off Jesus and place them on something or someone we want more, we can easily begin to spiritualize our sin. The human imagination knows no end in this department, so let’s be on our constant guard.
Can you think of more examples about how we spiritualize sin?