Making Excuses — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Making Excuses — Morning Devotions

Over the course of our lives, we have all made excuses. But God can strengthen us so we can overcome our excuses.

By Chris WittsTuesday 19 Mar 2024Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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I want to talk about making excuses—something each of us have probably done. I know I have. And it’s not a good thing to do. Benjamin Franklin said, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else” and Florence Nightingale, “I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse.”

  • Do you ever catch yourself making excuses when things don’t turn out as you had expected?
  • Have you ever neglected taking responsibility for the events and circumstances of your life?
  • Or have you ever tried to explain away why you didn’t, couldn’t, shouldn’t or simply wouldn’t do something?

These are all subtle signs that indicate you are living a life of excuses, which prevent you from living to your full potential. Excuses prevent you from reaching your full potential,

Fear Leads to Excuses

Do you fear the scrutiny of friends, family, or co-workers? Are you uncomfortable with opening yourself up to others? Sometimes, making up a lame excuse to avoid attending a social event is done for self-preservation. Are you afraid your attendance would make you feel inadequate, vulnerable, or foolish? We also make excuses for bad behaviour and for bad attitudes, and for not getting a job done on time or for not doing homework when we were a student.

Here are many reasons why people make excuses. In fact everyone has different reasons for making them. However, when it boils down to it, we only make excuses for the following main reasons:

  1. Fear of Failure
  2. Fear of Embarrassment
  3. Fear of Success
  4. Fear of Change
  5. Fear of Uncertainty
  6. Fear of Responsibility
  7. Fear of Making Mistakes.

Sounds Familiar?

We also say we don’t have enough confidence in ourselves, or not enough resources—the list goes on and on. And then there is the excuse:

I’ll get to it later
We put off doing that unpleasant task to another day when we might be feeling in a better mood. And then procrastination is a terrible problem that many people engage in far too often. By putting things off to the last minute, you will be forced to rush and when you rush, you tend to make errors. Honestly, you may never even get around to accomplishing this task if you are continually pushing it off for a later time.

I don’t have time right now
In the end, you will learn to regret all of the opportunities you passed on. If a chance is presented to you that you really want to take, then change your schedule and make the time. You never know if you will have this opportunity again, so you need to take full advantage of it.

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And what about the well-known excuse:

Someone else will do it
This is an extremely lazy excuse and one we make far too often. Don’t leave something up for someone else to do that you can simply do yourself. We have all heard the saying, If you want something done, then you have to do it yourself. No one can accomplish a personal task better than you can. Stop being lethargic and do what you need to do.

It’s not my fault
Stop blaming others for your problems and bad decisions. As you grow older, it becomes more and more important to realise you need to take responsibility for yourself. Maybe you had a bad upbringing, but once you reach adulthood, the future is in your hands. No one else can be held accountable for your actions except you. The sooner you realise this, the better off you will be.

It’s too hard
The reality is that nothing worthwhile ever comes easy. Hard work breeds success and profitability. Stop underestimating your skills; you are much more capable than you think you are. If you stopped making excuses and started taking actions, you will surprise yourself with your capabilities.

Have you said?

‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. Luke 14:17-18 – ESV

Now is not the right time
Time is our most precious and valuable resource. Everyone is given the same amount of time in any given day, but the manner in which you choose to spend this time is entirely up to you. If you have the resources to do so, now is as good of a time as any to accomplish your goals.

And then others say:

I’m too scared
Fear paralyses people and holds them back from reaching their full potential. You never know if you can succeed if you never try. Remain positive—life is what you make of it, and although life can throw you some awfully big blows, you are fully capable of overcoming them.

We Excel at Making Excuses

When I read the Bible, it’s very interesting to see that Jesus isn’t surprised by how much we excel at making excuses. He talked to his followers one day about this through a parable of a great banquet. Jesus told them, “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 14:16-18 – ESV).

My excuses may give me a sense of self-protection or self-care, but I’m the biggest loser. Because here’s something else the Bible says about excuses:

Speaking to the people, Jesus said, Take care! Protect yourself against the least bit of greed. Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot. (Luke 12:15 The Message).

Over the course of our lives, we have all made excuses. When we miss a deadline at work, forget to do our homework, or get pulled over for speeding, we might try to make an excuse. Sometimes we might even try to excuse our own sin. Life is not defined by what you have. While we’re trying to excuse ourselves from doing what we know is right, we miss out on letting Jesus fill us, use us, empower us, and pour through us.

We try to make excuses from time to time, but that does not change the fact that God does not want to hear our excuses; or that God can overrule our excuses; or that God can strengthen us so we can overcome our excuses.