Many of us suffer from a condition, a toxic spiritual condition we often try to mask or explain away. Many of us have become all to familiar with this state of life and we have allowed it to become an intricate part of our daily lives. This condition is called “excuses.”
We are quick to have an excuse ready for all of our shortcomings. In fact, often our excuses try to shift the blame to others or to something else. Oftentimes, it’s easier to make an excuse then to actually address our true need. We live in a time where excuses are everywhere, and people have settled for living in a state of excuses rather than in a place of truth and freedom.
Why? Because truth is costly. And freedom actually requires sacrifice. But an excuse? Well, it’s often clever and quick and is “just enough” to get us by. And we’ve settled for a life of excuses, rather than a relentless pursuit of a loving and Holy God who wants to fully transform our minds and hearts to reflect Him.
Have you been carried away by excuses? Has your spiritual growth been hindered by habitual excuse making?
In order for us to abandon our excuses, we have to confront the reality of sin and temptation in our lives. James 1:13-15 says: “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God;’ for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.”
Far too often we find ourselves under pressure, and that’s when we cave to excuses. The temptation we face comes from ourselves, for God is impervious to evil, meaning he’s Holy and untouched by evil, but we are born into sin and must daily choose to say no to sin and yes to the Lord and his mighty work in our lives. We let everything else in this world entice us and set our priorities. We let those forces drive our decisions, rather than the cry of God to work more fully, more deeply in our lives.
Excuses allow sin to grow in our lives. That’s why we must abandon our excuses. We make excuses about staying away from God and the church. We make excuses from submitting ourselves to the revealed word of God and true Biblical authority. We allow everyone else’s opinion to matter more than the Lord’s, and we make excuses for it.
God wants to redeem and restore every broken place in our lives. He wants to provide an escape for the enticing sin that lingers before us.
My eight grade football coach always told us: “Emery, excuses are like ... (I’ll save you his wording, I’m sure you’ll get it) ... we all have them, and they all stink!” Friends, you know what else stinks? Sin!
We have allowed ourselves to wallow in our sin and excuses rather than reaching for the hand of the Savior who longs to pull us out, fully and forever, from the muck and mire of our sin-saturated lives. Now is the time to abandon your excuses and to fully press into God in this present moment.
Nick Emery is the senior pastor at Good Shepherd Wesleyan Church. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.