“The ends justify the means.” I learned this phrase in my country from a young age, but I didn’t understand it until a few years ago when I sat to reflect on it.
Before, I had said that phrase as if it were an affirmation, or even better said, a justification. When I thought more about it, I changed the grammar to be a question: Does the end justify the means? My answer was that of course it does not. The end definitely does not justify the means.
Unfortunately, this lie that we have all learned as children has become a common practice in our communities. When I was living in Costa Rica, I saw on the evening news that a reporter was interviewing a man who had charges pressed against him for stealing bread from a well-known bakery. At the beginning of the story, people had agreed that he should be charged with theft, but when the reporter asked why he had done so, he said that he had several children at home whom he had decided had to feed before they went to bed. He continued on that he couldn’t find a job, that he didn’t and wouldn’t have hurt anyone, and that a few loaves of the hundreds in the bakery wouldn’t make much of a difference to the overall business anyway. However, he had been caught, and the owner had disagreed with his reasoning and called the police. The reporter finished the segment by saying, “Well, everyone would do what they could for their own children, right?” From that news story, people began encouraging others to not buy their bread from that bakery anymore.
The philosophy of humanism puts man at the center of the universe, which could mean a lot of things. I would have liked to think that we can interpret that philosophy in light of Scripture–that we were made in the image and likeness of God, and for that reason we are so valuable to God. But those philosophies aren’t actually interpreted that way. They are in line with the idea that original phrase, that man should be happy and have what he wants regardless of how he achieves it.
If we don’t put each phrase we learn and use in light of Scripture, we can be confused and justify many incorrect things. These types of ideologies can always be shown as false and be replaced by Scripture.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says, “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
The Apostle Paul shows us here that there are forces and arguments in our minds that are not from God and that we can and should instead allow and seek the Truth that God can turn into a lifestyle for us that pleases Him. Amen.