Excuses – by Paul M Hanssen
Have you ever noticed that from the time a child is able to speak until the mature and aged depart from this world, excuses are the accepted norm within the nature and character of humanity.
Very few, however, know the potent and malicious meaning of the word ‘excuse’. The English word excuse actually means: an attempt to lessen the blame attached to a fault or offense. It also means to seek, to defend, and to justify. A legitimate reason, cause, or deed does not ever need an excuse. Rather, excuses seek to cover, justify, defend, and hide illegitimate reasons and actions that are being portrayed as pure and honest.
Excuses, when made often enough, take on the appearance of true reason by the one making them. What we don’t realize is that excuses usually lead to sin and deeper spiritual bondage. Benjamin Franklin once said, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” Excuses that are made to justify one’s weakness, bad choices, lack of enthusiasm for the things of God, lack of commitment, and spiritual lethargy will ultimately become the governing ‘truth’ in the life of the person making them. The one making the excuses starts to believe his/her own excuses and attempts to persuade everyone else to believe them also.
The Word of God teaches us many examples of those who made excuses. Every one of these stories is heart wrenching, breathtaking, and devastating. The following example causes tears to fill my eyes and a burning of grief in my heart because the story given by Jesus is a story that is all too familiar today.
Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. (Luke 14:16-17)
God’s Word is “The Great Supper”. Many have been bidden to come and feast on the supper of bread, meat, honey, milk and the delicacies of eternal Truth. That’s the good news. The response that was given to the invitation by those invited is the bad news.
And they all with one consent began to make excuse. (Luke 14:18)
All those having received an invitation to the great supper began, one by one, to decline, shun, avoid, refuse, and reject the invitation and to make excuses as to why they were unable to attend. Their excuses included the following:
· I have bought a piece of land and I have to go and see it
· I have bought five yoke of oxen and I have to go and try them out
· I have married a wife and I have to attend to her
“I”, “I”, and “I”, were the preceding words in the case of each excuse given. Excuses are always self-centered. Excuses serve to condone one’s reason to reject God’s call. Excuses take the focus away from the invitation given by the Spirit of God, and in turn place the focus on our own needs, wants, desires, and selfish appetites. Making excuses will lead you away from the table prepared before you; the table of the Bread of Life that will strengthen you to reach God’s intended purpose and destiny for your life.
By now, many people reading this article will want to quit reading because this portion of scripture strikes deeply into the heart of every believer. We are ALL guilty of making excuses. Sadly, we have done it for so long that it has become the acceptable norm. Please, by all means, don’t read another line. Make your excuse and lay this article aside. But for those of you who hunger to have the hammer of Truth break up this nasty habit, read on. The rest of you, go and take care of your oxen.
The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. (Matthew 22:2-3)
On this particular occasion, Jesus was teaching about the establishment of the Kingdom. He likened the Kingdom to a marriage feast being prepared for His Son. The invitation went out so as to make those on the ‘invited list’ aware that it was time to prepare for the wedding and respond to the invitation. However, the invited guests would not come. The list of excuses began.
· They made light of the invitation (rejected and disregarded the invitation)
· They went their own ways
· One had a farm to attend to
· Another had merchandise to take care of
· Then they violently mistreated the King’s servants and even slew them (so as to silence the voice of the invitation)
What excuses have you made, and what excuses do you continue to make, to cover and hide your own rejection of God’s invitation upon your life? God’s Spirit does not strive with men unending (Genesis 6:3). There comes a day when God declares; Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. (Matthew 22:8). That day is fast approaching, if not already here. My heart bursts in agony over the multitude who have been invited, but today have been found, or will be found, unworthy of the calling placed upon them. A final call and invitation are proceeding out of the mouth of God. The ‘excusers’ will miss out, but the responders will find themselves in fellowship with the presence and Glory of God, at His table! Will you be one of them?
It is one thing to be ignorant of God’s call; it is entirely another thing to have heard the Truth and excuse yourself from the need to respond to that Truth. God will never hold us accountable to that which we do not know. But when we stand before Him we will actually stand as a balance, a pair of scales. On one side will be placed the invitation, the calling, God’s revealed purpose, and that which was made known unto us. On the other side will be placed our actions and responses to the calling. How many scales will be balanced on that day? How many scales will be lopsided and out of sync?
If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. (John 15:22)
When Jesus walked among men, He taught, preached, and revealed His Father’s purpose. Up until that day the people of the land were ‘innocent’ due to their lack of knowledge and understanding of the Way that was being revealed to them. However, after they came to the knowledge of the Truth and yet still rejected the Truth, all of the ‘excuses’ were taken away. Excuses serve as a cloak to cover that which we do not wish to have exposed. In light of this verse, our excuse becomes our sin.
We make excuses as to why we cannot pray. We make excuses as to why we cannot attend church, or prayer meeting, or a Bible study. We make excuses as to why we cannot testify to others. We make excuses for not yielding, bowing, or surrendering to the convictions of the Spirit. We make excuses as to why we cannot worship God. We make excuses for our tardiness to the Lord’s House. We make excuses for our behavior, and we make excuses for other actions and reactions that are displayed in our lives. We make excuses for everything we wish to cover with a cloak of deception.
You have been invited! The call, the voice of urgency, has rung out loud and clear from the Spirit of God into the ear of your spirit. Unfortunately, as in the days when Jesus taught, the same trend is taking precedence in the last and final days of time. Excuses will exclude you. Excuses will kill you. Excuses are not a warm cloak behind which you can hide. Excuses are a covering for sin.
WAKE UP OH CHURCH OF GOD – STOP MAKING EXCUSES AND RESPOND TO THE CALL!
-Apostle Paul M Hanssen