Justifying bad with good

justifying bad with good

Justifying bad with good is more common than you think.

When people do it, it’s hardly ever as obviously silly as the following statement… though I’ve heard some that come close…

Al Capone must not have been all that bad since he funded soup kitchens.”

Capone did open soup kitchens during the great depression. But it doesn’t really matter, does it?


Because history shows that Al Capone was a murdering gang boss who ran rackets in alcohol, prostitution, and gambling.

Doing good in one area doesn’t erase or make up for bad that’s been done in other areas. But too often I hear well meaning Christians speaking as if it does.

I don’t know if they are worried about being “judgmental” or want to seem like they are gracious people, but the fact is that many people downplay the bad qualities or characteristics of a person by playing up their supposed (or real) virtues. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard people do this.

Once, in a church context, when discussing what to do regarding a person who was openly slandering others, one person referred to the offender by saying,

“Oh, but he’s such a good person.”

Really? Let’s think about that statement for a minute…

Do good people slander others? He may have done some “good” things in the past, and he may even be very nice to you… but that hardly makes a case for looking the other way regarding his slander.

Here is another example, said about a Pastor who was found guilty of certain improprieties…

“But he’s such a good Pastor.”

Really? How can he be a good Pastor when he’s failed to be an example to the flock (1 Timothy 4:12)?

Let’s be people of the truth who are willing to call “bad” bad.

I’m not suggesting that we become harsh, unforgiving, or unmerciful. I’m just saying that we have to be careful that in our rush to be “loving” we don’t ignore the reality of sin. If we are to BE the church, a people set apart to represent the kingdom of God and the name of Christ, we have to be willing to deal with sin when its ugly head crops up in our midst. We have to love our brothers and sisters enough to speak of their sin and seek to lead them back to the cross instead of into hiding.

And we have to be willing to let others speak into and about out lives on that level too. It’s called accountability, and when done right, is a very healing and restorative thing.

But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.Hebrews 3:13



What do you think? Share your thoughts & start the discussion!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s