Excuses, excuses…

It seems to be a basic part of human nature to come up with all sorts of excuses to explain our inadequate and inappropriate behaviour. We are very quick to blame someone or something else for our mistakes.

The following are some of the unbelievable excuses given by drivers filling in their accident insurance claims:

“Coming home, I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree I didn’t have.”
“He was all over the road and I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him.”
“In an attempt to kill a fly I drove into a telephone pole.”
“I had been driving my car for forty years when I fell asleep at the wheel.”
“The pedestrian had no idea which direction to go, so I ran over him.”
“I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother-in-law, and drove into the river.”

Well, perhaps that’s all quite light-hearted but the Bible gives numerous examples of people desperately trying to justify their wrong-doing and the consequences are far more serious.

Adam started the long list of pathetic excuses. When God asked him whether he had disobeyed and eaten of the tree that had been forbidden to him, he replied: “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” (Genesis 3:12) Was he blaming Eve or God? Eve responded with her own excuse: “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” (Genesis 3:13)

When Aaron was challenged by Moses to explain why he had allowed the people to corrupt themselves by making a molten calf, he answered: “They gave it (gold) me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf.” (Exodus 32:24) Well, how amazing!

According To Saul, it was also the fault of the people. When Samuel asked him why he had not obeyed the voice of the Lord to utterly destroy all that belonged to the Amalekites as God had commanded, he retorted: “The people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen… to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal.” (1 Samuel 15:21) However, he was the king and supposed to be in charge!

Naaman, the leper, when instructed by Elisha’s messenger to go and wash in Jordan seven times to be healed, justified his indignation with: “I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.” (2 Kings 5:11) So he turned and went away in a rage, still muttering about the rivers of Damascus!

In Luke 14, it speaks of a great supper and how those invited began to make their excuses. “The first said, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.” (Luke 14:18-20)

Benjamin Franklin once said:

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”
We should not be looking to make excuses but rather ready and eager to follow the exhortation of the Scriptures. Initially, to: “Repent, and be baptized… in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and…(to) receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38) And then to: “Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavour; (to) be aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord.” (Romans 12:11 Amplified Bible)

“Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”
(James 1:22)


By Pr. Darryl Williams