A wise man once wrote that there is a great definition for rationalization, it's legitimizing impropriety. He compared this to dancing with a bear noting that its easy to waltz our way into circumstance that we think we can control, when in fact just the opposite occurs and these circumstances end up controlling us.
Personally I have noticed in that in my life when I'm on the dance floor with the bear, it's these times that I become acutely aware of the "gray" areas. Those areas help me justifying being there. Yes, I've been taught right from wrong, black and white, but as I dance with this bear, and as I move further and further from light to darkness, it seems like those dance moves cut off the input of the Spirit. I feel safe because I'm still in the gray, technically the light and I can still feel the light. When in reality, I'm finding it harder and harder to tell the difference. These are also the times when if called on it, I will tell you that things aren't always black and white.
I think everyone has situations, personal "gray zones" so to speak, where we know in our hearts we can't be trusted and that we need to avoid. But then the opportunity presents itself and we begin to legitimize it.
Hyrum Smith, founder of the Franklin Institute and author of the book "Pain Is Inevitable, Misery Is Optional" said that "I am firmly convinced that sin and transgressions are in almost every circumstance a result of some sort of self-deception."
There is a great deal of truth to this.
That's the hard part, being able to not just say it. It's easy to warn others, to preach and to tell others not to do stuff. But its harder to do it yourself. I've found in my life that if I took most of the advice I've given I'd be happier. And I think at times there is a lesson there. It's why we should blog and keep journals so that we can later go back and read it ourselves.
That and admitting I'm not a very good dancer or at least I need to dance with the lights on.