In the Bible, sexual immorality is one of the most prominently mentioned sins anytime a list of sins comes up. If it were simply a minor occurrence, affecting only a small percentage of the population, it probably wouldn’t hold this position. What are the top excuses we use to allow us to continue in sexual sin?
Excuses for Sexual Sin
Everybody is doing it
The standard of right and wrong is not found in a majority decision. Because an overwhelming majority of Germans hated Jews was it right for Hitler to murder six million of them? Though “everybody” was not personally involved in the crime, practically “everybody” thought nothing of being anti-Semitic. The Bible expressly warns us against justifying our conduct by a corrupt majority. “You shall not follow a multitude to do evil…” (Exodus 23:2).
You only live once (a.k.a. If you haven’t tried it, don’t knock it)
Life is far too short to do everything. We learn (if we are half as smart as we think we are) from the experiences of others! The person who presents this kind of argument to us will seldom want to go out and see what it’s like to kill someone in the heat of war. Nor is he likely to want to go out and let someone shoot at him for the pleasure of seeing what it’s like. If this kind of reasoning were true a man being tried for murder could say: “You have no business being on my jury because you’ve never killed a person.” Would his objection be valid? Why then should a person be considered right when he makes the same argument concerning morals? In one case a person has violated human law and in the other divine law. If we would not tolerate such reasoning in regard to human offenses how much less we should tolerate it as an excuse for violating the law of God!
It’s none of your business
First, you are part of God’s creation, so it’s absolutely His business. Second, your parents gave birth to you, so it is absolutely their business. Third, if you’re married, you’re one flesh with your spouse, so it’s their business. Fourth, if you’re churched, you’re part of a flock, so it’s your pastor’s business and it’s the flock’s business. It’s safe to say we can dispense with the “not your business” talk. Instead, let’s address the real issue: Whether you are doing the right thing in God’s sight.
I’m not hurting anyone
Adam could have said the same thing in the Garden. Yet because of his sin, death entered the world and plagues us to this very day. Like our prayers, our actions—good or bad—have the potential to set in motion a chain of circumstances far beyond your ability to imagine. (“The sins of the father are visited unto the third and fourth generations.” (Exodus 20:5, Numbers 14:18, Deuteronomy 5:9-10, Jeremiah 32:17-18))
Furthermore, someone is hurt: You! Sin separates us from God and any immorality you commit places that much more distance between you and Him. (“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2))
I love them
But do you love Christ more? “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) and among the commandments He taught was abstention from sexual immorality (Matthew 15:15-20). There’s no such thing as love at first sight; that’s called lust.
I’ve just gotta be a man
This excuse comes from a distorted, predatorial definition of manhood. It is not Godly, righteous, holy nor kingly and yet those are the traits God calls us into. “But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;” (1 Peter 1:15 NIV) Little boys do what feels good; men do what’s right.
God made me this way
“Behold, I was shaped in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Psalm 51:5) “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139:13 NIV) Yes, we were all born under Adam; none are righteous, not one. Jesus says apart from Him we are withered branches ready for the fire. (John 15) Our best deeds are as filthy rags before God’s holiness. And yet we’re all called to be born again. (John 3:3) Jesus also says, “Deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow Me.”
(Hint: Your carnal urges didn’t come from God. Self-gratifying, self-serving, self-driven, self-motivated came through the Fall. Furthermore, you can’t be lonely when your Source is with you; when you’re walking in God-reality.)
What I’m doing is not that bad. It’s not as bad as _________.
“Therefore to him that knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17) “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) Do you allow for loopholes (that don’t actually exist) in God’s call on your life? You are His. You are not your own. You’ve been bought for a very high price: the blood of Jesus Christ. Per our Lord, “But I say unto you that whosoever looks upon a woman with lust has committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28) We are to take captive every thought bringing even our minds under the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
[No excuse is verbalized, but God-awareness is deliberately set aside to allow for sin]
We can actually race ahead of a convicted conscience into sin, knowing that turning our thoughts to God will bring us near enough to Him to cancel our urge to sin.
The Moral of this Story
You can put a beautiful label on a bottle of cyanide but if you drink it, it will kill you just the same. The same is true of all sin, which drives a wedge between God—the source of our lives—and ourselves.
Adapted from Roland Worth, Jr.’s article “Excuses for Sexual Immorality”, published by Truth Magazine on April 15, 1976.