What are some of the excuses you’ve made lately? I’ve thought about a few:
- I’ll start my diet tomorrow . . . because my son brought home Panera pastry today.
- I won’t exercise tonight so John has a chance to do it. I want to bless him.
- I’ll just apologize for not answering those emails; I really don’t want to deal with that now. Maybe someone else will help.
Yet when I look back at those excuses—really look—I can clearly see heart issues that need to be dealt with:
- The issue of turning to food for comfort, instead of God.
- The issue of being lazy, instead of striving for healthy living.
- The issue of being self-centered person who doesn’t like other people’s messy issues.
Now, I wouldn’t describe myself as an indulgent, lazy, and self-centered person, but those are traits I have to fight. I bet if I were to talk to each one of you, you’d have the same or similar issues.
In a recent blog I wrote, “If we put ‘self-help’ on our to-do list, then we can give ourselves an excuse for not doing what we need to do today.” The thought came to me as I was pondering Scripture, and it’s stuck with me. So much so it lead me to this blog. So much so I only ate half of a Panera muffin for breakfast, instead of the whole muffin! So much so I’ve been asking myself often, “Am I just making an excuse here? Do I know what I’m really need to do? Am I going to do it?”
Jesus isn’t surprised by how much we excel at making excuses. He talked to His followers about this through a parable of a great banquet.
But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ But they all alike began to make excuses” (Luke 14:17-18).
We think we’re watching out for ourselves when we make excuses, but . . .
Excuses keep us from gathering with God, allowing us to enjoy Him.
Excuses keep us from all God has for us.
Excuses keep us so busy caring for ourselves that we don’t give God time and space to care for us.
When I turn to food for comfort, I’m not turning to God for comfort.
When I’m not caring for my body, I’m too tired and sluggish to do God’s work.
When I don’t reach other to others, I miss out on God’s love that flows through me, helping another person.