Most people who stand accused sincerely believe they are the right candidate for mercy based on their intentions and the circumstances surrounding their choices. Many want to be heard with their “yeah, but . . . ” because they are convinced that if others could hear their situation, then the context would justify their behavior. It’s not their context that caused them to do what they did any more than our situation justifies our mistakes.
When we mess up, it’s me and it’s you. We can’t blame somebody or something else. The devil usually didn’t do it and, more often than not, we’re not a victim of circumstances. The stuff that leads to consequences is just in us.
Don’t get me wrong, some people have difficult stories that include abuse, neglect or other tragedies that lead them into a downward spiral. Even in the most brutal situations, the reactions come from something depraved which was previously dormant within an individual.
James 1:14-15 says, “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.”
Our “own desires” are the lowest common denominator. It’s the stuff that we keep deep down under our polish and presentation. It’s the selfish stuff cut loose into one choice or another that calls us into places of darkness. We choose because we love us some us and, when we do, a foothold is given towards death.
That stuff has to be replaced. The lies of an orphan who has to take care of himself have to be exchanged for the promises of a Father. The desires of our soul can be satisfied by the Savior of our spirit, but only by crucifying those desires in the same fashion that He allowed Himself to be crucified.
The easiest choice in any given moment is to choose from the temptation born of our own desires and scratch that itch immediately without consideration for where it leads. The harder choice, which brings life, is to kill the thought or impulse by taking it captive and submitting it to a King who will replace it with a birthright. The inheritance exceeds anything we can achieve in our effort if we are willing to contend for what He has for us. The cost is a death to our own desires. The reward is eternal.