Justifying Sin

Harry Schaumburg has been counseling people for over thirty years and has spent the last eighteen years focusing on counseling those who struggle with sexual sin, such as adultery, pornography, prostitution, etc. His book Undefiled  is his attempt to put into writing his Biblical Intensive Counseling workshop, which is five straight days of intense counseling.

I struggled with pornography from the age of eleven into my twenties. During this time I went to church, was active with my youth group, eventually attended Bible school, and got married. It took a long time for me to beat the pornography addiction that I had. This book has been a wonderful help for me in working through some of those hidden issues that still hang over from my pornography addiction.

I will be putting more from this book on my blog later, but for now I wanted to post this list of how the heart deceives us when it comes to sin.  How is it that so many Christians know porn is bad, but still do it? The answer is not complicated. We justify it. Schaumberg focuses on sexual sin, but insert your own sin where he puts sexual sin.

  • The sexual sinner always acts like he or she is sexually pure.
  • The sexual sinner always justifies the sexual sin. 
  • The sexual sinner always  declares the sexual sin a need. 
  • The sexual sinner always deceives himself or herself into believing that sinning sexually will be a positive benefit. 
  • The sexual sinner always makes excuses for his or her sexual sin.
  • The sinner who does not sexually sin tells himself or herself that his or her heart is good. 
When we read this our initial reaction is, “No way.” But the further you dig the more realize that is exactly what we do with our sin. When we sin we do not see ourselves as filthy, dirty people. We might feel that way momentarily after our sin, but it does not stick and we go back to believing ourselves to be pretty good people. We always justify our sin. I had to do it. There was no way out. What could I do? I needed it. They deserved it. And we do this not just with sexual sin. We do this with gossip, anger, pride, bitterness, laziness, etc. 
The beginning of our fight against sin is realizing that we are not very good people. We sin and make excuses for our sins. We pretend we are holy when we are not. We think because we don’t commit the same sins as others we are good. But the truth is we are unclean and defiled without Christ. Once we understand that we can flee to Christ for forgiveness and for the means to fight against our sin. But if we assume that whatever we do is justified and that our sin is not that much of a problem we will never win the battle.