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June 5, 2005

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Lame Excuses That Sounded Good To Me

By: Dr. Skip Myers
Edgefielddaily.com columnist
web posted June 5, 2005

We are all guilty. We all do it. In fact, we keep a mental file just in case we need to pull one out on the spur of the moment. We have them cross-filed by occasion, effectiveness, and believability.  And yet, when we do use them, we give little thought to evaluating their overall impact.

We use them for a myriad of reasons. We use them to get out of doing what we don’t want to do. We use them to avoid people we don’t want to be around. We use them to create time for ourselves. We use them so we don’t have to be honest with others. We use them to protect the feelings of others. And we use them to avoid what we know is best for our lives.

Have you ever listened to yourself as you make excuses? The odd thing about making excuses is that they sound perfectly reasonable to us and we expect the person to accept them at face value without evaluating whether or not they make sense to them. For example, when I was dating, it should have made perfect sense that a girl couldn’t go out with me on Friday because she had to wash her hair. She couldn’t make it on Saturday either because it wouldn’t be dry by then. Makes perfect sense, right?

Jesus told a story about making excuses. It’s found in Luke 14:15-24. Take a moment a read it but for now I want to share with you the central ideas of this passage. Jesus is comparing His invitation to us to have an intimate relationship with Him to a man who is throwing a big dinner party. He sends his people to invite friends to the big event and to his surprise his friends begin to give a host of excuses as to why they cannot attend.

The first friend said he had purchased a piece of land and needed to go look at it. Here we encounter the infamous business excuse. I can’t because I am busy doing something important. The next friend stated that he had bought a new team of oxen and wanted to try them out. He had a new “toy” and wanted to go play with it. At the next stop, his people got the excuse that this friend has taken a wife and couldn’t attend. He was too busy with family responsibilities.

Business, toys, and family may sound like viable excuses for missing a dinner party. But the man giving the dinner party didn’t see it this way. He became furious and told his people to go out into the streets and invite anyone who would come. The dinner party would not be delayed because of their refusal. So he filled the guest list with anyone who heard the invitation and responded. And still there was room for more at the table.

Listen the next time the Lord speaks to you and issues you an invitation. It might be an invitation to begin that intimate relationship with Him; it might be an invitation to become more active in His church; it might be an invitation to know the joy of serving Him; it might be an invitation to allow Him to change something in your life that serves only to cause you difficulty; it might be an invitation to cut out a portion of your day and dedicate it to time alone with Him. When this happens, and it will, don’t let your first impulse be to give the Lord some excuse you expect Him to accept.

Remember, this is God talking to you. Realize that the Creating God of the Universe is giving you a personal invitation to “party” with Him in life. What excuse could possibly hold water in light of this? You want your business life to gain new power? Accept His invitation and let Him be involved in your business. Want to know new joy and purpose in your leisure time and actually find rest in life? Accept His invitation to know true joy in worship and praise. Want to find a new source of blessing in your family life? Accept His invitation to make His love the love you give to your family.

The Lord’s party will go on with or without you. See His invitation as the honor that it is. Accept it and stop making excuses because you are afraid to let go. Why not release life into the hands of someone who is big enough to handle it. And, has already proven He loves you. (He died on a cross for you.) Accept the invitation and join me without excuse in His House Sunday.

Dr. Myers is Pastor of Smiths Station Baptist Church, Smiths Station Alabama and a former Youth Minister of Sweetwater Baptist Church (1981-1986)
Contact Dr. Myers: E-mail

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