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What the Bible says about Excuses
(From Forerunner Commentary)

2 Kings 21:19-21

When parents sin, they provide their children with an opportunity to justify sin. The impact of such sin is devastating to a nation when the sins of kings influence their heirs. Some of the kings of Judah probably made excuses similar to those parents use today. How often parents excuse bad behavior by saying, "It's okay, honey. You didn't have your nap"; "You're having a bad day"; or "Johnny next door is a bad influence on you." Our society has become so good at self-justification that people who cannot find any plausible excuse commonly plead "temporary insanity." In most cases, it really is only a justification to get away with abusing our fellow man. It might succeed in man's court, but not in God's.

Staff
Overcoming (Part 2): Self-Justification

Related Topics: Excuses | Self Justification | Sin, Impact of


 

Proverbs 16:2

We can justify ourselves to the point we really think we are clean in spite of our sins. We will use "all humanity" as our excuse, admitting we are sinners "just like everyone else," but not wanting to admit specific sins or faults lest we have to overcome them. God knows all men have sinned and fall short of His glory, but He is only interested in our repentance (change), overcoming, and growth, not our excuses. "Everyone is doing it" does not justify our personal sin. God will forgive only as we repent.

Staff
Overcoming (Part 2): Self-Justification

Luke 14:19

Unlike the first excuse, this one seems to be an unnecessary act. However, the man's tone is definite and final, even unapologetic in refusing the invitation. He never doubts the validity of his excuse, putting his work first and assuring himself that he has no responsibility to the host (Ecclesiastes 2:22-23; 12:14; I Corinthians 3:9-13). The oxen he wants to test can represent technology. Many falsely believe that advancement in technology equates to human improvement and progress.

This man's conduct shows his inclination to satisfy himself before accepting a friend's invitation. Like all sinners, he was selfish, justifying his own worldliness and sins and refusing to accept God's offer of salvation. He represents those who are so absorbed in their work or hobbies that they set aside no time for prayer, meditation, or the weightier matters of life (Matthew 6:24). What a catastrophe it is when a job, finances, entertainment, or self-centeredness leave us no time for God and self-examination!

Martin G. Collins
Parable of the Great Supper

Luke 14:20

This is the most insignificant excuse of all, yet such excuses are used frequently. It is amazing that people allow themselves to be excluded from the Kingdom of God with such weak reasons. The man's abrupt, brusque, and impolite excuse is empty of substance and void of thought. He represents those whose domestic cares and responsibilities control so much of their time and interest that they neglect their relationship with God.

Balanced and right marriage and family relationships never keep us from a right relationship with God. Quite the contrary, they enhance and promote it. Nevertheless, Jesus intends to teach us that the love of relatives and friends often distracts our affections from God, preventing us from accepting the blessings that He wants to bestow on us (Luke 14:26-28; 18:29-30; I Corinthians 7:29-33). For instance, some excuse themselves from appearing before God on the Sabbath to worship Him because another family member cannot or does not want to attend.

Martin G. Collins
Parable of the Great Supper

James 1:6-8

We do not need to have the fears we sometimes associate with James 1:6-8. We can take comfort in the knowledge that mind-wandering and normal doubts and fears, while they are undesirable and should be rooted out, are not really what James has in mind. He is warning against double-mindedness. Double-mindedness requires knowing God's law and making a premeditated effort to subvert it and then justify the behavior.

Double-mindedness did not apparently apply to Uzzah, who broke God's law in ignorance or foolishness (II Samuel 6:6-7). However, it does apply to Saul, whom God ordered to destroy the Amalekites totally, but only accomplished 80% of his objectives (I Samuel 15). When confronted with his compromise, Saul makes a whole series of excuses. Excuses and alibis are the defense mechanisms used by double-minded people. If we put sin out of our lives as soon as we find it, or as soon as it is pointed out to us, we do not have to worry about making and remembering excuses or alibis.

Double-mindedness occurs when we harbor a sin and still appear to live God's way. Tares, during their formative (immature) period, look just like wheat, yet mature wheat and tares do not look the same (Matthew 13:30). Over time, the tare is exposed because it does not mature like the wheat. So a double-minded "Christian" will become obvious by his lack of fruit and worldly, hypocritical attitude and behavior. Interestingly, God leaves the tares among the wheat ultimately to benefit the wheat.

A double-minded person cannot have God's Holy Spirit within him (Romans 8:5, 8-9; Galatians 5:16-17). Jesus says we cannot serve two masters because our allegiance will really be to one or the other (Matthew 6:24). One cannot be a double agent with the world and a member of God's church (II Corinthians 6:17-18; I John 2:15-17).

God demands that we choose one way or the other—but not straddle the fence. We cannot have it both ways. Unless in the battle between the spirit and the flesh we throw down the gauntlet in favor of our spiritual selves, we run the risk of being torn to pieces psychologically and emotionally.

Recall Psalm 119:113: "I hate the double-minded, but I love Your law." Notice that the antidote to double-mindedness is yielding to God's law. Wholeness and singleness of purpose are the result of keeping God's law through the power of Christ working in us. As our Lord reminds us in His Sermon on the Mount, "The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good [single, KJV; focused, directed], your whole body will be full of light" (Matthew 6:22).

David F. Maas
Spiritual Double Agents


Find more Bible verses about Excuses:
Excuses {Nave's}
 




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