#thirstythursday / the art of making excuses

the daily Starr thirsty thursday

Everyone makes excuses. #truth

I can have the best intentions, but when it comes to something I’m avoiding or just flat out don’t want to do, I’ll find a convenient excuse to justify my actions (or lack thereof).

a particular chore I’ve been putting off
going to church
spending time with family and friends
doing the laundry
reading my Bible
finishing a project for work
cleaning the toilets…oh, yeah…EXCUSES GALORE FOR THAT ONE

We’re not alone.

This segment titled The Art of Making Excuses by Rev. Bruce Goettsche says exactly what is on my mind tonight:

It seems to me that American people are especially good at making excuses. Sometimes we make excuses to try to keep from hurting someone’s feelings. For example, If you were asked out on a date but really didn’t want to go, you might want to spare the feelings of the asker and come up with some excuse as to why you had to decline.

Sometimes we make excuses to avoid responsibility for our actions.. We make excuses for things we did wrong, times we failed, things we don’t want to do, situations we don’t want to be in.  How many times have you told someone “I forgot” when in reality you just didn’t want to do what was asked of you?

Making excuses isn’t a good practice and it is especially dangerous when we start making excuses in our spiritual lives.

  • We make excuses when we don’t want to obey (like commands to forgive, or to stop gossiping)
  • We make excuses when we don’t want to go where God sends us (it may be a mission field, or it may be a visit to a friend, or it may be church)
  • We make excuses when we don’t want to believe what God tells us (that all things work for the good)

Wow. Toes crushed.

Moses made excuses too. God appeared to him in a burning bush and told him to go to Egypt to lead the Israelites out of captivity.

First, Moses gives the excuse of being a nobody.

11 But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?”

12 God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.”

Exodus 3:11-12 NLT

Then, Moses tried to give the excuse of them not knowing who sent him.

13 But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?”

14 God replied to Moses, “I am who i am.[d] Say this to the people of Israel: I am has sent me to you.”

Exodus 3:13-14 NLT

As if this conversation and God’s responses aren’t enough, Moses keeps coming with the excuses.

But Moses protested again, “What if they won’t believe me or listen to me? What if they say, ‘The Lord never appeared to you’?”

Then the Lord asked him, “What is that in your hand?”

“A shepherd’s staff,” Moses replied.

“Throw it down on the ground,” the Lord told him. So Moses threw down the staff, and it turned into a snake! Moses jumped back.

Then the Lord told him, “Reach out and grab its tail.” So Moses reached out and grabbed it, and it turned back into a shepherd’s staff in his hand.

“Perform this sign,” the Lord told him. “Then they will believe that the Lord, the God of their ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—really has appeared to you.”

Exodus 4:1-5 NLT

So, we have a burning bush, God speaking, a staff turned into a snake, and STILL Moses keeps going with the excuse train. Now he tells God how he can’t really speak that well.

10 But Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.”

11 Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”

Exodus 4:10-12 NLT

God has told Moses to GO over and over and over. Finally, Moses begs God to just send someone else.

13 But Moses again pleaded, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.”

14 Then the Lord became angry with Moses. “All right,” he said. “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he speaks well. And look! He is on his way to meet you now. He will be delighted to see you. 15 Talk to him, and put the words in his mouth. I will be with both of you as you speak, and I will instruct you both in what to do. 16 Aaron will be your spokesman to the people. He will be your mouthpiece, and you will stand in the place of God for him, telling him what to say.17 And take your shepherd’s staff with you, and use it to perform the miraculous signs I have shown you.”

Exodus 4:13-17 NLT

Finally, God becomes angry with Moses and agrees to send his brother to help.

Are we all that different from Moses?

I’m not sure what excuses you’ve been coming up with in your own life lately, but let this be a reminder that we all have them. We all struggle with doing the things we know we are supposed to do.

God, give us wisdom and let us hear Your voice clearly. Instruct us in how to be obedient to Your ways. Guide us, lead us, open our ears and our hearts. And let us throw out the excuses that are holding us back from all that you have planned in our lives.

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