I had a legitimate excuse for not attending church yesterday. I didn’t want to infect anyone with my germs, since my cold is the “juicy” kind—sneezing, blowing my nose, etc. My friend told me about several members suffering from much worse ailments. It made me thankful for a mere head cold. I can put up with the inconvenience and minor misery. And I’ll be praying for those who are really suffering.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
New Year’s resolutions are often broken after the first week. We all make excuses. It’s too hot, too cold, or too windy to take a walk. We’re too busy, too old or young, or too fearful. Sometimes I think that even animals use excuses for avoiding things. Not the squirrels, birds, and moles, however. Nothing stops them from going after the corn feast I offer every day. But the deer are usually more reluctant. It’s either too windy, not quiet enough, or not dark enough.
It’s easy to find excuses for avoiding what we know we should do. Are we reluctant to make life changes? To upset the status quo? Perhaps to lose our comfortable lifestyle?
Old Testament Jonah was reluctant to change things. Called by God to go to the evil city of Ninevah, he ran away. Another example is of ten Israelite spies sent to check out the Promised Land. They returned with the excuse that the people there were “like giants,” too big to defeat, in spite of God’s former miracles of deliverance. Peter, out of fear before Jesus’ crucifixion, denied he even knew his Lord.
Some of us excuse ourselves for not following God, too. The church is full of hypocrites, people say. But why excuse ourselves by judging a whole group by the actions or words of a few? Some won’t read God’s Word because they believe it’s archaic or harsh. Some read it to find other peoples’ faults, refusing to face their own.
In Luke 14, Jesus tells about people invited to a special meal. Each one made an excuse. Like them, sometimes we consider our own affairs as more important than God’s.
God proves His sovereign love for us every day and yet some choose not to believe. “Ever since God created the world, His invisible qualities … have been clearly seen. Men can perceive them in the things that God has made. So they have no excuse at all! They know God, but they do not give Him the honor that belongs to Him, nor do they thank Him. Instead, their thoughts have become complete nonsense and their empty minds are filled with darkness.” (Romans 1:20-23, Today’s English Version)
The Bible shows many examples of people who did not give excuses to God. Abraham, Joseph, Rahab, Paul, Job, and others, forged ahead to follow God’s will regardless of negative circumstances. They trusted Him enough to know He would bless them.
Lord, forgive us when we use excuses to follow Your will. Help us, rather, to trust in You totally, through Your Word and Spirit . In Jesus’ name, amen.