Sunday, 27 April 2014

No excuses

My husband and I are very different. He is a focused and determined person, while I get easily distracted (don’t worry, this is an issue I am dealing with). 

Often when I do not do what I had initially planned to, I make excuses. But my husband just rolls his eyes and basically says “whatever, same old, same old.”

Like my husband, God is not impressed by our excuses to sin. Adam and Eve are an example of people in the Bible who were rebuked and punished for their sin of disobedience, even though they had really good excuses.

Why is disobedience such a big deal to God? Like Adam & Eve, disobedience to God is usually based on the belief that we know better than God. Or that God was not serious about what He said, or that it is not relevant to us because it is the 21st century. Or sometimes we feel that the commands or tasks are too hard. Or maybe we suspect that God is trying to deny us from having something good.

But these are all wrong! God is good! His love for us is greater than the love a mother has for her baby. Like a loving mother who tells her child not to play with fire or dangerous objects for his own safety, God gives us commandments and instructions to protect us and benefit us and others.

Disobedience therefore shows lack of trust in God, and unbelief of His reward and judgement. When the devil deceived Eve, part of his strategy was to make her think God was a liar and was hiding good things from her. “ You shall not surely die!” he told her, even when God had said they would if they ate from the forbidden Tree of Knowledge. If you read the entire chapter three of Genesis, you see how his deception led to their fall from grace.

When they realised they had sinned, instead of taking responsibility, they made excuses. I believe that was their second sin and it sealed their fate. When we make excuses, we are trying to justify wrong behaviour. How many times have we said things like, “I know I shouldn’t do this or shouldn’t have said that, BUT…”

This refusal to take responsibility for our actions does not lead to repentance. As a result of not dealing with it as we ought to, we remain in the dark and tend to repeat it. 

The Bible says in John 8:31-32, So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." Knowing the truth about our sinful behaviour and making the required changes, sets us free. Excuses on the other hand keep us bound in sin.

Whatever God commands us in the Bible to do, He means it. From the obvious 10 commandments such as Thou shall not kill, thou shall not commit adultery, to less obvious ones like do not lie, do not commit fornication, do not lust, wives submit to your husbands, husbands love your wives, children be obedient to your parents, employees be excellent at your work, …etc 

Whatever God tells us to do, He means it and is not happy when we disobey, regardless of our excuses. The book of Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”

But God is merciful because He knows we are human. He wants to empower us with His wisdom and strength to do all He has asked us to do. That will first come by acknowledging our disobedience as sin and having a genuine desire to start living according to His ways.

So what areas of your life are you making excuses about? Perhaps you procrastinate a lot, or maybe you are not an excellent/hardworking worker or student. Perhaps you are more concerned about pleasing people rather than pleasing God, or maybe you are lazy or sloppy about your life, business, family or even your faith.

Whatever aspect of your life you feel could be improved upon, do not make excuses. Acknowledge that your shortcomings are sinful and confess them to God. Ask for His spirit to strengthen you in those areas of weaknesses and make efforts to discipline yourself.

You will not become ‘perfect’ overnight and you might fall sometimes, but repent each time and keep on striving. The Bible in Proverbs 24:16a, says that though the righteous man falls seven times, yet he rises up again. God appreciates our efforts to become better, even when we might fall in the process. Never ever stay on the ground making excuses as to why you can’t rise up. Rise up, begin again!!!

May God bless and strengthen each one of us to be all He wants us to be. Amen!

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