Christian Living · Knowing God · The Word of God

Why are you making excuses?

Some would say blame-shifting is a popular trend these days. It does seem as though our society promotes this idea of abdicating accountability. Despite what we think, people have been making excuses since the first man and woman. Apparently, nobody ever likes to be caught doing something they shouldn’t, or failing to do something they should.

Politicians rarely accept responsibility for their blunders—they point the finger at the opposing party. In the recent sexual assault allegations, we see men pointing the finger at women, women pointing the finger at men, and society pointing the finger at provocative media. When a tragic shooting happens, people point the finger at guns, the NRA, the media, or mental illness. All these horrible things shake down into one unpleasant reality: SIN.

This is not oversimplification. All have sinned, and sin is downright messy. Our attempts at excuses are just attempts to sweep sin under the rug.

The first excuses in the history of mankind began with the first sin:

“[God] said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”

The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”

Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

~ Genesis 3.11-13, ESV

Do you notice how, instead of saying, “yes” or I’m sorry,” Adam blames Eve? So much for clinging to his wife; he practically threw her off a cliff! Eve, in turn, blames the serpent. Adam and Eve are sorry they got caught, but they don’t want to accept blame. This excuse-making mindset has been a problem for humanity ever since.

We could blame Adam and Eve for our habit of excuse making… or we could seek the Lord’s help to end our excuse habit.

We all have habits formed either through accident or intention. We blame circumstances and people for our failures when in truth, we haven’t taken the time to form better habits. When we become a Christian, we receive forgiveness of sin and grace more abundantly than we can comprehend. Just because we are covered with grace does not mean we have carte blanche to do whatever we want. The Lord doesn’t want excuses—He’s given us all we need for life and godliness. He wants us to put to death our old habits and acquire His habits.

“Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,
and virtue with knowledge,
and knowledge with self-control,
and self-control with steadfastness,
and steadfastness with godliness,

and godliness with brotherly affection,
and brotherly affection with love.

For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.

~ 2 Peter 1.5-10, ESV

The law of the Lord is very simple:

  1. Love Him with all your heart, soul, and mind.
  2. Love your neighbor as yourself.

Every habit we form should hinge on fulfilling these laws. Complaining isn’t loving. Ignoring my bible isn’t giving God my heart, soul, and mind. Habitually neglecting prayer (and making excuses about it) isn’t loving towards God, nor fulfilling our promise to others to pray on their behalf.

Establishing godly habits should always center around fulfilling the law of love. It’s not about patting self on the back or elevating one’s self-image—this is about giving God and the people He created the very best of ourself because we love them. We want the light of the Lord to shine through us into this dark and lonely world. 

 

God doesn’t want our excuses—He knows our weaknesses.

God doesn’t want our blame-shifting—He knows the story.

God doesn’t want a cop-out—He wants our faithful efforts, however imperfect and remorse over our sins.

Over the next month, Lord willing, we will dig into the problem of excuses and how to work toward ending the habit. Here are some topics I hope to cover:

  • Making Excuses or Taking Action?
  • Making fewer excuses in our apologies
  • Setting priorities instead of dropping excuses
  • Accepting Responsibility vs Blame Shifting

Do you, like me, find yourself making excuses? How do you think this hurts others? Do you think this hinders the gospel?

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28 thoughts on “Why are you making excuses?

  1. Love this: “Establishing godly habits should always center around fulfilling the law of love. It’s not about patting self on the back or elevating one’s self-image—this is about giving God and the people He created the very best of ourself because we love them.”

    Jesus is clear. It is all about love.

    Be blessed. God is in a good mood.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I take my spiritual faith to heart and accept responsibility for the choices and decisions I make in life. This certainly doesn’t mean I no longer experience temptation. It simply means I’m aware of the consequences and am personally willing to accept them IF it doesn’t impact the lives of others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, we need to accept responsibility. I believe we will fight temptation until we die. I take very seriously the accounts of Solomon and others who served God in their younger years only to fall into sin in their older ones. My constant prayer should always be for help in fleeing temptation and open eyes to see the way of escape. I fear losing my faith because of arrogance or complacency.

      Thank you for your comment. God be with you!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! Spot on! I actually started about three different drafts before writing this post because there are so many aspects to making excuses and shifting blame. (Hence the series…) I really like how you point out powerlessness because I think we forget that when we try “escaping” from blame. God bless you, IB!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “Adam blames Eve? So much for clinging to his wife; he practically threw her off a cliff!” Lol, So true! Both Adam and Eve share a great responsibility for the fall and it’s the perfect story to exemplify how we all have a responsibility to step up and do the right thing even we ourselves are not the original sinners of whatever evilness we are facing.

    I look to the opioid crisis as example. The country is in an all out frenzy trying to “fix” it, with fingers pointed at overprescribing doctors, family member enablers, greedy pharmaceutical companies, poor job prospects, etc….These all play a role, yet we all know the decision to take drugs lies solely on the individual doing it. Until that person accepts this and looks at how the darkness inherent in their own heart is contributing to the problem, things won’t change.

    Sorry, I went a bit off topic there. Really good post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s not off-topic at all—It’s an excellent example. My oldest has been injured by vaccines. I can’t prove it, but i know wha she was like before and I saw the dramatic change immediately afterwards.

      I lived with guilt and anger for a long time. I could certainly blame irresponsible medical practices or greedy pharma, but I also realized I needed to accept my part: I didn’t take the time to be more informed about the dangers before letting them inject the vaccine. I am continuing to help her learn how to live through her challenges and provide her the care she needs. I cannot change what happened to us, but blaming someone else does little more than foster bitterness… and I don’t want to be bitter. All we can do is accept our part and move on with wisdom and humility. 😊

      God be with you, Tricia! I appreciate your excellent comment.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh I’m so sorry about your daughter Elihu, what a difficult experience that have been and still is I’m sure. I’m glad you’ve worked through your guilt and anger though. You did what you thought was best for her at the time and that’s not nothing.

        So true what you say about acceptance and moving on with wisdom and humility. That’s really such an essential part of living healthy.

        God be with you too Elihu!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Love love love this, sister Elihu!! May I add: The blame- shifting we see when Adam says to God “The woman you gave me… she gave me the fruit and I ate…” is impertinent, defiant because even before Eve had been created from Adam’s side – GOD had given Adam this express command “Of the tree you shall not eat… if you do you shall die” Seems pretty conclusive to me. So, in essence, Adam is saying “The woman YOU gave to me… I DIDN’T ask for her… SHE tempted me… SHE’S to blame… not me!!” That’s some arrogance. Great insights. Thank you 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow! I never looked at it in that light before. In a way, Adam is showing not only ingratitude but nearly accusing God for his failure. That’s even more egregious than accusing the woman. Yet another reason why we need to own up to our sins and ask for genuine repentance without excuses. Great comment! Thank you!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Elihu, I’m looking forward to this series of posts. It’s our nature to make excuses. We need Holy Spirit intervention found through spending time with God in His word so that we can identify places where we make excuses and even lie to ourselves.
    Blessings as God guides your writing.

    Like

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