I have a message from God in my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God before their eyes. In their own eyes they flatter themselves too much to detect or hate their sin. Psalm 36:1-2

God gives David an insight into the thinking of the wicked. They don’t believe in God, therefore they don’t feel accountable. They think too highly of themselves and don’t even realize they are sinful. The Message Bible puts in this way: “He has smooth-talked himself into believing that his evil will never be noticed … He plays with fire and doesn’t care who gets burned” (v.2, 4 MSG).

But what about those who profess Christian faith and yet commit heinous sexual sins against children and minors? In a similar way they do not fear God and don’t believe he will hold them accountable. They do not see any immediate consequences to their behaviour so they mistakenly think there won’t be any. They also think too highly of themselves, and since they consider themselves to be a ‘good’ person they don’t believe they are capable of evil actions. Certainly nothing that would warrant jail time.

The ability of the human mind to rationalize is remarkable. These people completely discount the experience of those they are taking advantage of and believe they aren’t doing anything hurtful or emotionally damaging. They ignore the complaints or silences of their victims.

We would do well to listen to Jeremiah’s words as he speaks on God’s behalf: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? ‘I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve’” (Jeremiah 17:9-10).

We are accountable to God for our actions.