What is Your Excuse?

by Joe Plemon on November 12, 2010

“Mr. Thomas, our records indicate that you haven’t made any car payments for the past four months.  Do you anticipate bringing this account current in the near future?”

“Well, you see, my boss sent me on a special assignment to France, but our plane was forced to make an emergency landing in the ocean.  I was able to swim to an island but discovered that it was inhabited by cannibals.  Just as they were preparing a pot to boil me in, I was able to jump on the back of a dolphin which delivered me to a fishing boat.  But the men spoke no English and I was forced to stay on the boat for weeks before I was finally delivered to Portugal.  I made it to the US Embassy where they arranged transport to France, but because I missed my assignment, I lost my job.  I had to find work washing dishes to earn enough money for my return flight.  I only arrived home yesterday.”

“Do you honestly expect my to believe such a story?”

“No.  But I couldn’t make the payments and I figured one excuse is as good as another.”

Our excuses

Corny?  Of course.  But I got your attention, didn’t I?  Yet I ask: “Compared to some of the excuses we make, is it really all that far fetched?”  What excuses do YOU make for not living up to the potential you were created for?  Most (and I am including myself here) are pretty lame.

I believe that each of us was put here on earth for a reason, and that God has uniquely equipped each of us to have the capacity to fulfill whatever purpose we are here for.  Is it easy?  Hardly ever.  But making excuses is tantamount to telling God that his design is inadequate.

Do any of these excuses sound familiar?

  • God couldn’t use me.  I don’t have any particular talents.

Truth: God has given you exactly the talents he wants you to have.  When God created you, he knew what would make you tick.  He put seeds of greatness in you; seeds that will only germinate and grow when you allow him to develop those talents.

  • “When I get my life together, I will serve God.”

Truth: You don’t need to improve to any arbitrary plateau before God can use you; he wants to use you today – just as you are.

  • “I want to, but I am too busy right now.”

Truth: You have just as much time as anyone else.  Your problem isn’t the number of hours in a day; it is your priorities.  Once you decide to put God first in your life, everything else will settle in place.

Do you think your situation is different?

Compare your excuses to those these biblical characters* could have made – but didn’t:

  • Too old? Abraham was old.
  • Insecure? Jacob was insecure.
  • Victim of abuse? Joseph was abused.
  • Speech impediment? Moses stuttered.
  • Poverty? Gideon was poor.
  • Too sinful? Rahab was a prostitute.
  • Dysfunctional family? David’s family was dysfunctional.
  • Suicidal? So was Elijah.
  • Struggle with depression? Jeremiah did too.
  • Not enthused? Jonah ran from God.
  • All alone? Naomi was a widow.
  • You don’t fit in? John the Baptist was extremely eccentric.
  • Impulsive and hot headed? So was Peter.
  • Are you a worrier? Martha was anxious.
  • Been through several marriages? Join the Samaritan woman.
  • Disliked by others? So was Zacchaeus.
  • Is your faith too weak? Thomas was a doubter.
  • Health issues? Paul was in poor health.
  • Not outgoing? Timothy was timid.

That should cover just about all of us.

My favorite excuse (admittedly lame) is being too busy.  What are yours?

*I adapted this list from Rick Warren’s Daily Hope.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Carol@inthetrenches November 13, 2010 at 12:01 am

Too busy? That was Martha in the Mary and Martha story 🙂 Love the way you fit the excuses with the person who made them. At times I think I have used them all!

Calling David’s family dysfuntional made me laugh. It certainly was and I can name a few more that fit in that catagory as well.

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Financial Samurai November 13, 2010 at 3:00 am

Hmmmm.. nice set of examples there Joe!

My excuse is that my fingers get tired after typing too much.

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Everyday Tips November 13, 2010 at 8:57 am

My excuse is always the too busy. I keep thinking I will do ‘better’ things when life settles down a little. Having 3 teens keeps me incredibly busy, but I definitely could do better.

Great post.

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joeplemon November 13, 2010 at 9:49 am

@Carol,
Haha. I have probably used them all too. And I also wonder…how many families are NOT dysfunctional to some degree?

@Sam,
I don’t have your problem. My brain gives out long before my fingers do.

@Everyday Tips,
At one point we had four teens (13,15,17 and 19) Life was sort of a blur, but we look back now and cherish those days … not that we want them back, but just knowing that season of life was special. I am sure it is and will be for you too.

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Invest It Wisely November 18, 2010 at 11:14 am

Wow, what a great list. I can relate to at least some of them, but even if they are somewhat true, in the end, it’s about if we decide to give up or if we decide to keep on pushing through, right?

Great post!

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joeplemon November 18, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Kevin,
You got it. An excuse can and often does paralyze the one making it. I don’t think Helen Keller, for example, ever considered making excuses. She decided, as you said, to keep on pushing through. Inspiring stuff.

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