Church Father St. Augustine often prayed,
“O Lord, deliver me from this lust of always vindicating myself.”
Whew! I’ll second that prayer. I should pray it every day.
We have our original parents to thank for this lust. They invented the art of excusing sin by blaming others (Gen. 3:9-13).
To be honest, I know that wanting to justify myself has blinded my eyes to my own wrongs, exposed my pride and strained relationships with people I love.
Writer Ken Sande says the most effective way to fight this lust of vindicating ourselves is to dwell on two crucial facts.
First, remembering that my sins are far more serious than any person could ever realize … so serious that only Jesus’ death on a cross could pay for them (Eph. 1:7; Eph. 2:8-9).
Second, remembering that because Jesus took my guilt on his own shoulders, God himself has vindicated me completely, declaring me “not guilty” in his sight (Col. 1:19-22).
Remembering that God has vindicated me in Christ makes it a lot easier to listen to criticism from others and to face the truth about my sin and failures.