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Excuses, like Old Friends

We probably all have friends we grew up with that at the time seemed like the greatest. You were compatible in nearly every way. You shared similar interests, laughed at the same jokes, both thought the same teacher was really an evil genius who had a plan to take over the world by using copious amounts of homework paper to fuel the death ray in their garage–you know, normal stuff.

These are the kind of friends who were good for that time, but if you met them today, you’d find it hard to carry on a conversation.

Well, I’m ready for it to be that way with my excuses.

Sometimes excuses are so comfortable, they feel like a warm blanket wrapped around us. They get us out of doing more than we think we should. They justify our failures and boost our successes (because we’ve overcome so much).  I’m not even saying that these things are lies, but we fall back on them, take our refuge in them, try to find strength there.

We re-write Psalm 18:1-2,

1 I love you, Excuses, my strength.

2 The Excuses are my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my god is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

I’ve been as guilty as anyone. I’ve made excuses about my past or attitudes or the fact that I’m working full-time and attempting to lead a church at the same time. I’ll admit that this last one has made me scared lately. God is moving me out of what has been comfortable and into a place of trust for me, my family, and the ministry He’s given. I can’t rely on that old excuse anymore.

I can either try to find another excuse to be my friend or trust in God’s love like He has wanted all the time. He is jealous for us, not selfishly as we are jealous, but for our best interest and knowing Him intimately. He is faithful to remove the things that keep us away from Him.

If we keep following, He’ll remove the excuses, but He’ll always reveal more grace. The only source of infinite strength and protection and salvation doesn’t come in my feeble attempts to justify myself. There are holes in these friends and they’re getting bigger all the time. No, the only source of infinite strength in which I can fully and confidently place my hope is in Him.

1 I love you, LORD, my strength.

2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

3 I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and I have been saved from my enemies. (Psalm 18:1-3)

Yep, that sounds much better.

Has God ever taken away your friendly excuses? Were you scared and what was the outcome?


18 Comments

  1. Just recently He did.  It was actually really liberating.

    • I know it’s liberating too, but there’s always a part of me that wants to hesitate. 🙂 Thanks Michael.

  2. My post today was about this! I was justifying my reluctance to sell my phone by saying, “It’s my one luxury.” God wasn’t having it.

    • Whoa, I need to go read yours then. I can always use a double portion. 🙂

      Thank you, Melissa.
  3. First, the site looks great! Second, yeah man this hits hard. Excuses are so cancerous to our growth in Him, our relationships and pretty much every aspect of our lives. I’m working on shooting them down.

    • Thanks on the site comment. And you’re right, the excuses really are dangerous. He helps point them out and take them down though. Glad we can trust Him with all of our lives. Thanks Tony!

  4. Getting rid of the excuses is a continually process for me.

    • And when you get rid of the old ones, it always seems like there are others to step in if we let them. Gotta stay on guard! Thank you, Kevin.

  5. When I was in college, my best friend was also my mechanic. And I’ll never forget the day that he was working under the hood of my car and was telling me about his most recent revelation that “God will not kill my friends.” I looked at him, puzzled, and he explained that he had been praying that God would take away certain attitudes and God had said, “Robert, until you make those attitudes your enemy, there’s nothing I can do with them. As long as you continue to choose to be friends with them, I will not kill them.”

    Wouldn’t it just be easier if He’d kill them? Can’t you just hear me praying that?

    And something my friend Eliza says A LOT: “An excuse is just the skin off a lie.”
    Sarah Salter recently posted..ImperfectMy Profile

    • That’s good. I like that. I think that’s the hardest thing about excuses is that there is usually an element of truth in them or at least there used to be. Great thoughts! Thank you, Sarah.

  6. I come back here for the first time in weeks, and here you are hitting me right between the eyes. Man oh Manischewitz….
    Helen recently posted..Shes Back- Shes BadMy Profile

    • Sorry Helen! Hopefully there’s some encouragement in there as well. 🙂

  7. I find that my excuses are my mere justifications to not admit I’m afraid. I’m tired of being afraid and yet if I face the ugly truth I’m riddled with it. 🙁

    • I wish I could say I had no idea what you were talking about, but I feel it rolling around inside all the time. 🙂 The only answer I know is perfect love. It’s patient and kind and doesn’t find fault in us, but it gets really rough with the fear and drives it out. I thank God for that kind of love!

      PS you know I’m praying for you, but just so you know again: I’m praying. 🙂

  8. “If we keep following, He’ll remove the excuses, but He’ll always reveal more grace”

    So very true bro’. Excuses become very comfortable and convenient and block the way for serious growth in our life. Praise God for His grace and love in removing them!

    Excuses are the tools with which persons with no purpose in view build for themselves great monuments of nothing. ~Steven Grayhm

    • You know what’s funny? You quoting what I said made me see it differently: those excuses are like a barrier to His grace. We wear those instead of His gift. That’s not right!

      That quote from Steven Grayhm is so good too. Thank you Jay.

  9. I have been wrapped up in excuses. I hide behind them like Adam and Eve in fig leaf couture -- I need to come on out and be naked for a change.

    • That’s an excellent way to state it, Kristen. So glad that in Him we break free and He clothes us in great grace. Thank you so much for your thoughts.

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  3. Jason Stasyszen - New Blog Post: Excuses, like Old Friends http://ow.ly/1aqVlF
  4. Peter Pollock - RT @br8kthru: New Blog Post: Excuses, like Old Friends http://ow.ly/1aqVlF
  5. Sarah Salter - RT @br8kthru New Blog Post: Excuses, like Old Friends http://ow.ly/1aqVlF
  6. Jason Stasyszen - RT @KevinMartineau: RT @br8kthru: Excuses, like Old Friends http://bit.ly/epbQLm <<thank you Kevin!
  7. Jason Stasyszen - RT @sarahmsalter: RT @br8kthru New Blog Post: Excuses, like Old Friends http://ow.ly/1aqVlF <<thanks Sarah :)
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  10. Jason Stasyszen - Today's Post: Excuses, like Old Friends (we don't need) http://ow.ly/3oHHw

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