It seems that so many of us have an excuse for almost everything that we fail to do that the Lord requires of us. In this article we want to examine some of the excuses that are given by members of the church concerning their failure to do as the Lord would have us. Some years ago I ran across an article that had originally appeared in the Chicago Tribune.  It was an actual list of explanations reported to an  Insurance Company informing them why an accident had occurred.

“The pedestrian had no idea which way to go, so I ran over him.”

“I had been driving my car for 40 years when I fell asleep at the

wheel and had an accident.”

“I was on the way to the doctor’s with rear-end trouble when my

universal joint gave way, causing me to have an accident.”

“An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my vehicle and vanished.”

Can you imagine sane, sensible adults with such reasoning? Before you answer that question, stop and consider how that human nature has not changed that much over the years.

The Bible has within it numerous excuses that were given by people who failed to do as they were commanded. Let’s give some serious consideration to them to see if we can learn something that will help us be better Christians.

In Genesis 3:12, we have the passing of the “buck” by Adam when he stated, “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.”  Surely no sane, sensible adult would reason as that, but he did.  As the “buck” was passed to Eve, we note that she was not interested in keeping it expressed by the following, “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat” (Genesis 3:13 b).  Again, we might say, surely no sane, sensible adult would reason as that, but she did. The old “the devil made me do it” excuse is seen here.

Moses, when told by God to go to Egypt to lead Israel out of bondage had an excuse or two when he stated, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue” (Exodus 4:10).

Aaron, when confronted by Moses for making the golden calf, offered a very questionable excuse when he stated, “Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf” (Exodus 32:24).

Gideon, when told by the Lord that he would save Israel from capture by the Midianites offered a “lame” excuse when he said, “Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house” (Judges 6:15).

Elisha, when given the mantle of Elijah offered an excuse that we find difficult to believe when he said, “Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee” (1 Kings 19:20).

Jeremiah, when told by God that he had been set apart by God as a prophet unto the nations responded by saying, “Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child” (Jeremiah 1:6).

A disciple of Christ, when confronted with the idea of following Jesus responded questionably with the following “Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father” (Matthew 8:21).

Felix, when preached unto by Paul offered an excuse that I am sure he now wishes he could take back, “Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee” (Acts 24:25).

The majority of us, when reading these excuses, would say no sane, sensible person would dare offer such excuses concerning their obligations to God. Yet, there is no reason to doubt the sanity or sensibleness of any of those that we have just read about. The real issue at hand is, are we that much different when it comes to why we do not fulfill our obligations to the Lord? Let’s see.

When it comes to missing the services of the church do we sometimes offer the excuse that “Company hindered us from attending?” Or, “I didn’t feel well,” but if we felt the same way on Monday, we would go to work?  Have we ever said we could not attend because “The weather was bad,” when it was just as bad on Monday, but we somehow made it to work? Would that “company” get in the way of our going to work and missing a day’s salary?

When it comes to talking to someone about the Lord do we offer, “I just can’t talk to someone about Jesus,” but we are able to talk to them about something else?

Have we ever said, “I just don’t have time” to do something for the church while having time to watch television, read the paper, sew, or do some kind of leisure activity?

When it comes to properly giving as the Lord would have us, have we ever said something like, “I just don’t have the extra money?” What we have to remember is, we are not talking about “extra money.” We are talking about a commitment to the Lord. The Lord doesn’t want our “extra” or loose change (1 Corinthians 16:1, 2; 2 Corinthians 9:7).

We could go on with page after page considering such excuses given by sane, sensible people. But instead, let us be encouraged to stop for a moment and think before we offer another excuse for failing to do as God would have you to do. There is too much at stake for us to keep on offering such excuses to God!

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