The Infinite Human Capacity to Deceive Ourselves and Then Rationalize It
Two days before Christmas, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries confirmed that its founder had engaged in sexual misconduct over the course of many years and promised further information when the investigation into the matter was complete. Late Thursday afternoon, RZIM released the full report as they had received it, along with an extended, contrite statement of apology.
Ravi was a significant personal influence and a great friend of the Colson Center. When Ravi died in May of last year, we honored him. At the time, both Ravi and RZIM leadership claimed that allegations of an inappropriate relationship had been dismissed and disproven after a thorough investigation. We trusted the information provided to us. We were wrong. I both believed and shared excuses that explained Ravi’s behavior. By doing that, I was wrong and misled others. To be clear, no one at the Colson Center had any sense just how much would be revealed in this final report. But I wish I had not been so quick to trust what I wanted to be true.
There is no sugar-coating, excusing, or explaining away Ravi’s behavior. It was sinful. It was wicked. And, as this report made crystal clear, it was duplicitous. Reading through it, I couldn’t shake the words I heard time and time again from Chuck Colson: “There is no limit to the human capacity for self-rationalization.”