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23rd October 2023

Reject Rationalisation

You lay aside the commandment of God,

and hold fast to the tradition of men.

Mark 7:8.

A police officer asked a driver if she knew why he had stopped her. “No idea!” she said in bewilderment. “Ma’am, you were texting while driving,” the officer gently told her. “No, no!” she protested, holding up her phone as evidence. “It’s an email.”

Using a phone to send an email does not grant us a loophole from a law that prohibits texting while driving! The point of the law is not to prevent texting; it is to prevent distracted driving.

The Lord Jesus accused the religious leaders of His day of creating far worse loopholes in the law. “you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.” He said, quoting the command to “Honour your father and mother” as evidence. Under the hypocritical cloak of religious devotion, these wealthy leaders were neglecting their families. They simply declared their money as “devoted to God,” and voilà, no need to help Mum and Dad in their old age. The Lord quickly got to the heart of the problem. “You make the word of God of no effect.” He said (v 13). They were not honouring God; they were dishonouring their parents.

Rationalisation can be so subtle. With it, we avoid responsibilities, explain away selfish behaviour, and reject God’s direct commands. If that describes our behaviour, we are merely deceiving ourselves. The Lord offers us the opportunity to exchange our selfish tendencies for the guidance of the Holy Spirit behind His Father’s good instructions.

Bible Reading

Mark 7:6-13.


Gracious God, I need Your wise discernment. Rescue me from my denial of my own guilt. Help me live in step with Your Holy Spirit of love, truth, and holiness. In Christ the Lord, I ask. Amen.

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