Rationalization

“Excuses are just like belly buttons: everybody’s got one.”  Our defense mechanisms explain away gray areas. It’s handy to conceal our true motivations with rapid-fire, reassuring rationale.

Take that poor soul, Pat Robertson (“700 Club”): he was asked this:  A man’s wife has Alzheimer’s, and the man wants to begin seeing another woman.

PAT:  “If you respect that vow, you say ’til death do us part … [Alzheimer’s] This is a kind of death.”  [Pat wouldn’t] “put a guilt trip” [on the one divorcing] …”Get some ethicist besides me to give you the answer.”

[BIBLE: Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her.  And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.  Mark 10:11-12]

This bit of news has struck a chord with me, the sole caregiver of an Alzheimer’s patient.  If Effie’s husband were alive, I would not condone divorce.  But, yeah, rationalization kicks into gear:  I’m not married to Effie.  I’ve been languishing in a lot of logical lingo lately.  One moment I’m carrying her in my arms, and the next I’m grousing that the life is getting sucked out of me.

Malachi 1:9b  With such a gift from your hand, will he show favor to any of you? says the LORD of hosts.

Jer. 17:9  The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?

Here’s some of the rationale:

^Effie’s been here four years; and this one’s affected every member of the household.

^1% speaking, 99% nothingness.

^Hospice is doing great—but sometimes it gets scary and they talk me through it on the phone.

^I’m brittle: ten months of incarceration, insanity, and incontinence have taken their toll.

Rationalization? Maybe.  But soon we will be availing ourselves a service of hospice—it’s called respite: a short stay in a dementia facility.  [Not for me, for Effie.]  …If it works well, we may elect to keep tabs on her there.

Through it all, I will continue to meditate on, among others, Eph. 6:2-3, 1 Tim. 5:3-4, and Mark 7:9-13.

And to pray:  James 5:16  The effectual,  fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

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