A friend of mine told me her son just could not take any tests. He excels in his classwork, but when it comes to test-taking, his mind goes blank, and he fails.
That was the reason he failed his classes. That was the reason he would do so poorly in his academic classes. As hard as he tried, he could not take any tests.
Discouraged, he moved from one menial job after another until he latched onto a mechanic friend of his who took him under his tutelage for several long years.
He never became a success as he had always hoped he would be. He always seemed to fall short of where he knew he could be and indeed, should be. It always became for him a long litany of one “same old” excuse after another
His mom told me he never developed the self-confidence or self-esteem. It discouraged her enormously because she knew her son could always be more.
Somewhere along the line, her son decided to believe this lie. Over the years, defeat became etched into his mind like a river carves itself through a mountain base. Deeper and deeper, it flows. Then it became a Bonafide reality gripping itself to his leg like a ball and chain, and eventually, become an excuse to fail.
Excuses in our lives give us permission to settle for less than God’s best and justify our shortcomings. We blame something or someone else for our less-than-stellar lot in life. It is never our fault. Sadly, we brand our insecurities.
We declare this is how it always is and always must be for us, for our families.
We inhale the status quo and exhale the mundane.
Most failures come from a history of old excuses and a lack of perseverance.
Closed doors don’t always mean NO. Most of the time they mean that God has a bigger and better door. No more excuses! Move forward and keep knocking.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7 ESV)
Do we get so fully and completely immersed inside our past we can’t see hope staring at us through the dirty windows of our own self-appointed limitations?
We construct imaginary walls with bricks labeled “excuses,” confine ourselves.
We can get so stuck in the rut of excuses we even make excuses for our excuses.
Genesis 3:8-13Amplified Bible
8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool [afternoon breeze] of the day, so the man and his wife hid and kept themselves hidden from the [a]presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to Adam, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard the sound of You [walking] in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so, I hid myself.” 11 God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten [fruit] from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 And the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me—she gave me [fruit] from the tree, and I ate it.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent beguiled and deceived me, and I ate [from the forbidden tree].”
The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
The Lord God called out to Adam – “Where are You?”
Adam’s response: 10 He said, “I heard the sound of You [walking] in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so, I hid myself.”
When Mom and Dad called out to me and asked; “Where am I? ….”
When my Mom or Dad asked me that question of me, if I said anything at all except; “Here I am, I am right here.” I got into enormous trouble because they expected me to account for myself exactly in that moment – out of my respect.
By Adam’s response, God could easily discern something was seriously amiss.
Verse 10: Bibles very first excuse – Adam’s excuse for not being accountable.
The Lord God pushed the conversation:
verse 11: 11 God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten [fruit] from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
Adam’s response – verse 12: 12 And the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me—she gave me [fruit] from the tree, and I ate it.”
The Bibles second excuse: “Blame the Woman whom YOU gave to be with me.”
Can we sense a raising crescendo here on the Lord God’s part?
The Lord God turned His attention to Eve, pushed her for truth in the matter.
Verse 13a: Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?”
Eve responds with the Bibles third excuse –
Verse 13b: And the woman said, “The serpent beguiled and deceived me, and I ate [from the forbidden tree].”
Eve responds not with words of “accountability and responsibility” but with ….
Her Excuse – “the devil made me do it.” ergo, God, “Blame the Other Guy!”
Do we think or believe or maybe actually know the Lord God had heard enough from both of them in that moment?
Do we think or believe or maybe actually know the Lord God had heard enough dishonesty and disrespect for those brief moments the conversation took place?
As we read these passages for ourselves, and try to insert our own rationales for why those very first words from the mouths of Adam and Eve were “excuses?”
Are we now rationalizing with our own 21st century vernacular – saying -?
“Oh, they did not know any better? How could they have known better?”
“Oh, being unaware or unknowledgeable of the truth ….” “Expectations …?”
“Oh, never having been introduced to what honesty and integrity were …?”
“Oh. never having been taught the difference between telling a lie or the truth?
“Oh, being inexperienced in telling the truth ….”
“Oh, they were just young and immature and naive.”
“Oh, just give them a chance … they will learn, they will do better next time?”
And whatever other rationale(s) we can derive from our own “Life’s efforts ….
“It is not, it was not, it never will be my fault because …. someone else failed.
Ergo, blame the devil – “the devil made me do it.”
Ergo – blame God for being the bad parent – not teaching His Children.
Excuses! Excuses! Excuses!
We make excuses because we do not want to take on responsibilities or face consequences. Similarly, afraid of punishment, Adam blamed Eve, and Eve in quick response then blamed the serpent after they disobeyed God’s command.
What are our excuses?
Are they the same or different or more naive or more simple or complex?
What has God NOT heard us say when he “asked” us: “Where are you?”
Do we think or believe or rationalize our relationship with God might change, but then again, it may not or even won’t because we have confessed Christ as our personal Savior and therefore, we will automatically be forgiven 100%?
Our accountability to God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit ends when we make our most sincere, most heartfelt confessions of faith to God? (Romans 10:9-13)
We now have all the rationale we need to “take the grace of God for granted?”
Personal accountability to God therefore becomes immaterial and irrelevant?
Do not our Honesty, Integrity, Personal Accountability come naturally to us?
For Adam, Eve, by excusing, their relationship with God changed completely.
The formerly close relationship of walking with God changed into one of hiding and deceiving then to divine punishment for all (Genesis 3:14-19, Isaiah 59:2).
Whether dealing with God or with people, the best and only way to live is to come clean, not hide behind excuses, no matter how carefully crafted they are.
Excuses don’t fool anyone.
Excuses do not fool God, our Creator!
Excuses do not fool Jesus our Savior!
Excuses do not fool God the Holy Spirit, our Guide, our Guardian, our Teacher.
Will you, or I ask our God for a session or two of personal accountability today?
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
If our “Christianity” is all about true and genuine Accountability to God,
Let us Pray,
My Savior Jesus, Giver of peace, I so easily get distracted when I’m trying to focus and hear your Holy Spirit. Help me quiet my mind in the middle of my busy life. Help me to pause and to make space to listen to the most important voice of all. Empower me to be a good listener to the gentle whispers of your Spirit. Help me follow the example of Jesus, who would slip away in the evening or the early morning to be alone with you. Teach me to abide in you. Amen.