(A newspaper article by Lloyd Streeter)
Some excuses are humorous. Somewhere I read a list of actual excuses that parents wrote and sent to their children’s teachers.
One of these excuses said, “Dear School: Please excuse John’s being absent on January 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, and also 33.”
Another one said, “Megan could not come to school today because she has been bothered by very close veins.”
My favorite said, “Please excuse Jennifer for being absent yesterday. We forgot to get the Sunday paper off the porch, and when we found it Monday, we thought it was Sunday.”
Most pastors hear lots of excuses. One pastor told about an almost unimaginable excuse. He had visited a man and invited him to the church. The man answered, “No, I don’t want to come.” The pastor inquired, “Why don’t you want to come?” The man responded, “Peanut butter!” “Peanut butter? What kind of excuse is that?” the dumbfounded pastor asked. The man arrogantly responded to the minister, “I plainly told you that I don’t want to go to church. Peanut butter is just as good an excuse as any!”
We often laugh when we hear of the excuses speeding drivers give to the policeman; or the excuses husbands give for coming home late; or the excuses people give for being late to a meeting.
However, not all excuses are funny. Some are pitiful. Jesus told a story about people being invited to a great supper. This story was for the purpose of showing the response of people when they have been invited to receive God’s salvation. Sadly, Jesus said, “They all with one consent began to make excuse” (Luke 14:18).
My pastor (when I was a teenager) used to say that an excuse is “The skin of a reason stuck to a lie.”
In every case, when we make an excuse, it shows that we are accountable for our actions. Someone has a right to know why we failed to do as we should, and we feel a need to justify our behavior.
All people will have to give an answer to God. The born-again child of God will have to give an account to the Savior. And on an entirely different occasion, the lost, unsaved Christ-rejector will stand before God to face the consequences of a sinful, wasted life. In that day, mankind will be without excuse (Romans 1:20).
What are some things for which there is no excuse? The Bible tells us what they are.
First, there is no excuse for a defeated life. The Bible tells us how to be overcomers. It says, “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (I John 5:4). There are times when temptation is strong. Trials seem too hard to bear. The pain hurts beyond words. Disappointment wants to crush us. But, we still have God’s power (Ephesians 1:19). We still have God’s love (I John 4:8); God’s mercy (James 5:11); God’s grace (Hebrews 4:16); and God’s forgiveness (Matthew 9:6). That is why God will not accept any excuse for defeat. The way is open to Him and He will help us to overcome if we will come to Him in prayer and repentance.
Second, there is no excuse for a disturbed mind. Don’t worry. Worry is a sin. The Bible says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). Again the Bible says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3).
Third, there is no excuse for a doomed soul. “Christ died for our sins” (I Corinthians 15:1). Yes, Jesus died to save sinners. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11). No wonder the Bible says, “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man” (Romans 2:1).
What will you say to God?