The Weekly PowerBreak – “What is your excuse?”

John Calvin noted our minds are idol factories as we tend to allow ourselves to be controlled by just about anything and everything that comes along.  In addition, our minds are also factories of excuses.

Have you ever noticed how easily excuses flow into your mind? Athletes have this problem before a race or before a big game. From where do these excuses originate? You might be driving to a meeting and immediately you think of an excuse to make for being late. You might agree to complete a project and before you report on the progress or lack thereof, you have come up with a handful of excuses.

Excuse making is not something new, nor is it acceptable! Notice how Jesus framed excuse making in the following parable.

Luke 14:12–24 (ESV) — 12 He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” 15 When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16 But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. 17 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.’ 18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ 20 And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 23 And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’ ”

Notice how angry the master was about the excuses that were made and how silly the excuses sounded in the context of the one who heard them. Likewise, your excuses, however legitimate they sound to you, do not fool anyone but cause disappointment in the one who upon whom your excuse is dumped.

Notice also that the excuses, although they seemed good to the one giving them, was only cause for missing out on something really good. In other words, when we live on excuses we are only cutting ourselves short.

Take a look back over this past week and count how many times you either made an excuse or were tempted to verbalize an excuse you had in mind.

Notice in the following verse from Romans that we are “without excuse.”

Romans 1:20 (ESV) — 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

Next time you feel the urge to follow the path of excuse making, dump that baggage and be truthful because if you actually fall into believing your excuses, you are believing a lie. Therefore, if you have messed up, if you have not timed your trip so that you have arrived late, or if you have not accomplished what you said you would do, own up to it. Above all, don’t try to make excuses to God.

Think of how much better life would be without the lies of excuses.

Godspeed,

Bob Brubaker