Do Your Excuses Dishonor the Lord?

“Make the most of every opportunity” Ephesians 5:16 says.

“Always be ready to give the reason for your hope” 1 Peter 3:15 exhorts.

When we think of having an opportunity to witness to others about the Lord, we tend to assume we’ll be sharing because someone else is down or because someone notices something wonderful in our lives.

But even in our mistakes we have an opportunity to testify to God’s character and to demonstrate repentance and the acceptance of His grace and forgiveness.

Scripture is clear: those who glorify God don’t make excuses when they make mistakes. That’s because:

1. Excuses can be a form of pride

In 2 Corinthians 11 and 12, Paul describes his sufferings and his work in the Lord. It’s in 2 Corinthians 12:7 that he shares the well-known words that God spoke to him

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Imagine if Paul used excuses for His weakness instead of pointing to the Lord’s sufficiency. Suddenly Paul’s life would have been about him – what he tried to do, the ways his circumstances inhibited him. He wouldn’t be boasting in the Lord, he’d be boasting about relying on Himself.

Boasting about mistakes may sound absurd, but we all do it. We just shift the blame to make ourselves out to be more resilient, or to be martyrs. That’s prideful. And it encourages us not to stand up before the Lord in confidence and surrender to Him, but to choose to muddle through our trials as if we’re saintly for doing so.

2. Excuses can set aside the grace of God

At the same time, when we rely on excuses, we “set aside the grace of God” (Galatians 2:21). Paul describes being made new in Christ, dying to self that He might live through us. That means relying on Christ for righteousness, and not our works or our own attempts at justification.

There is no more “I tried not to sin but this and this made me”, or “I’m sorry but look, I did this well and I’m going to do better.” There is only repentance, the Lord’s forgiveness, and living in that grace.

In choosing not to justify yourself but to admit you are a sinner and to turn to Christ, you can go confidently before the Lord and before men, proclaiming the righteousness of Christ alone and the hope we have in Him.

3. Excuses can withhold glory from God

“Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story” Psalm 107:2 proclaims.

Then stories of the redeemed are told: boldly, honestly, and all structured to praise the Lord for His works, not to qualify the worth of the men He saved.

The glory due to the Lord (all glory) does not leave room for the glorification of man’s attempts at earning righteousness. That means that when we tell our stories as a part of the Lord’s story, He’s the protagonist. We’re the saved, not the worthy. No matter what excuses we have for our unworthiness.

{Originally published on My Faith Radio}

This post may also be shared on: #MomentsofHope, #DreamTogetherLinkup, #TestimonyTuesday, #RaRaLinkup,  #TeaAndWord, #TellHisStory#Thought-Provoking Thursday, #Heart Ecnouragement, #LiveFreeThursday, #DanceWithJesus#LLMLinkupFaith-Filled FridaySitting Among FriendsFresh Market Friday, and #SoulSurvivalLinkup.

18 Replies to “Do Your Excuses Dishonor the Lord?

  1. Thanks, Bethany, for this challenge. I have a tendency to play it safe — to take on only what I think I can accomplish without “stressing myself,” things that I’ve done before, and that won’t bring risk or humiliation into the room. And of course I’ve concocted some very elaborate “explanations” for justifying this faithlessness.
    Thanks for calling us out on this!

    1. Thank you Michele- I love hearing your perspective. I tend the opposite- taking on too much, forgetting risk, excusing myself from obeying God in leaving or sayig no! I’m liable to give everyone else a “yes” and God a million excuses for why I’m saying “no” to Him. Isn’t it amazing how elaborate our justifications can be? Yesterday at church the text was John 9 and the pastor highlighed how the Pharisee’s arguments were complex, but were refuted with the simplicity of the (no longer) blind man’s argument. So often simply is just more truthful!

  2. Great accountability post Bethany! Thank you for sharing. I will be sharing these words, and reminding myself of these words when I start to make up an excuse!

    1. Thank you Robin! I need to be held accountable to this constantly. Thankful the Lord is gracious with us and holds us accountable so that we can see Him work : )

    1. Thank you Leslie for reading and letting me know : ) It’s a repost from a while back and I needed it too.

  3. Bethany, what a unique post. I appreciate the challenges you share here. All of them point to being vulnerable. In our culture, that’s a tall order. But, it’s when we’re real that people see Jesus’ presence in us. It’s when we own our mistakes that people see we are loved by a gracious God. Thank you for sharing your wisdom here!

    1. Jeanne- Is it bad that I’ve only recently recognized the connection between vulnerability and taking responsibility? I always thought of vulnerability in terms of sharing hurts, but you’re right! Owning our mistakes is vulnerable too- and it’s through that people see we trust God’s grace really is enough. Thank YOU for giving me some more clarity on this!

  4. Bethany – I have found the bible is full of people who made mistakes and we learn from them. I used to try and hide my mistakes until I found they make a great place to teach from. Maree

  5. Bethany I was challenged by your thought: “Imagine if Paul used excuses for His weakness instead of pointing to the Lord’s sufficiency.” I want to remember that when I start to offer an excuse.

  6. Oh my, a subject that is close to my heart. I hate excuses, yet I think we all use them – especially subconsciously to excuse my behavior.

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