In a recent post I addressed the problem of rationalizing our sins. PD reader Laurie shared 4 of her most common excuses. That inspired me to share mine. My experience has been (and my experience is vast) of rationalizing that most of my rational lies fall into one of about 4 categories.
1) Begging off on other people. ”Everyone does it.” ”I am not as bad as her.” “They made me do it.” These type of statements are examples of blaming others for the choices you make. Such words deny personal responsibility.
2) Thinking ourselves inadequate. “I couldn’t do that I am too old, young, can’t speak well enough.” Truth be told you are inadequate. You need God. God doesn’t call the equipped he equips the called. So whatever your lacking, trust that God is fully aware of that and will provide.
3) Blaming Ignorance. ”I didn’t know better.” Often times that is true. But once you make that statement, it can no longer be your excuse.
4) Blaming circumstance. The big red flag for when you are entering this danger zone are the words, “If only.” “f only I had….more time, more money, were in a different church, understood the Bible better, weren’t so tired, etc.”
5) Trapped in the past. If you find yourself saying “I can’t because…” and then you fill in the blank with a story from your past, you are probably rationalizing. The harsh truth is that was then and this is now. What happened then may not truly have any bearing on your situation now except for in your mind. The truth is admitting that you are allowing the wounds of the past to hold you hostage now. Ask for God’s healing or release so that you can move forward in faith.
Freedom from Excuses
Whenever your find yourself doing the wrong thing or failing to do the right thing and your explanation begins with “I don’t” or “I can’t” you really need to slow down and see if what you are saying is truly valid. Even if it is true, you need to make sure it is not a denial of what God can do. Perhaps, you can’t, but God can. Embracing your inadequacy and clinging to God’s providence is the first step toward freedom from your excuses.
Stop living in what you are or are not and start living into what God has been and will always be.
I love the story of the missionary, Gladys Aylward. Aylward was a missionary to China who walked twelve days with nearly one hundred orphans in order to get them out of harms way of Japanese troops coming into the area. At one point when she was beginning to feel despondent, one little girl said something to the effect of, “You going to get us through the mountains just like Moses got the Israelites out of Egypt.” Aylward, confessed that she was no Moses. The little girl was undaunted by this. She replied, “Yes, but God is still God.”
Regardless of what excuse you are clinging to, it does not change the fact that God is still God. So, abandon your excuse and trust God. Blessings to you as you seek to be courageously honest with yourself.