I heard a story on the radio recently of a policeman who was searching a man. As he went through his pockets he discovered several bags full of illegal drugs. Before he could say anything, the man gave him an exasperated look and said, “These aren’t my pants!”
Luke 14:18--But without exception they all began to make excuses. The first one said to him, “I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. I ask you to excuse me.”
Jesus shared a parable in Luke 14 about a man who planned a large banquet. He sent his servant out to those who were invited to make sure they knew all the arrangements were made. But as we read in the passage of meditation, they all made excuses for why they could not come. The message in the story is that they could have come they just didn’t want to go.
As Christians we need to understand what impact excuses have on our reputation. According to the dictionary, an excuse is “a plea offered in extenuation of a faultor for release from an obligation, promise, etc.; a ground or reason for excusing or being excused.” Too often excuses are given to:
1. Avoid responsibility. We rationalize our attitude or action for not doing something.
2. Deflect blame. Instead of owning the problem the one making excuses shifts the fault somewhere else.
3. Make ourselves look better than we are. Excuses are often an indicator of pride.
4. Justify failure. Excuses invite permission for not doing what was supposed to be done. They are a stimulant to laziness.
Jesus taught us, “But let your word ‘yes’ be ‘yes,’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no.’ Anything more than this is from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37). The context of His words referred to truth-telling. Excuses can easily distort the truth. Therefore, when we present a false picture we are really operating from Satan’s playbook.
There is nothing wrong with sharing a valid excuse. For example, if I’m late to a meeting because I had a flat tire, that is a valid reason. But if I’m late for work because I overslept and I blame the traffic, I’m guilty of deception. Don’t go there. If the pants are yours, own them.
Ninety-nine percent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses.—George Washington Carver
©2004 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)