EXCUSES, EXCUSES, EXCUSES
None of us want to be at fault and for this fact we are masters at excuses. The world views shame and embarrassment as awaiting those who take responsibility for mistakes and correction. However, responsible people are the individuals who will mature and develop more as a person.
We are influenced by many factors in this life - mental, physical, spiritual and social - however we still pull-the-trigger on our thoughts, actions and words. I am not saying control is easy, but the first step toward a more responsible, healthy life is to make the decision you will take ownership of all of what you do, say and think before you assign blame where it does not belong. Remember the saying - when you point your finger at someone, you have four other fingers pointing back at you.
We eat improper stuff in abundance and then blame someone else for a failed diet program. We make excuses.
We stay up late hours watching a television program knowing we need to be up early the next morning and functioning at a high level for our jobs. Then the next morning rolls around and we have rolled out of bed with the wrong attitude, have skipped our shower and are late for work - excuses abound.
We are under a huge delusion that not taking responsibility and blaming something or someone else will save us from the consequences of the situation. If you want to see this in full display, turn in your Bibles to Genesis 3. Right from the beginning we have had plenty of finger-pointing, but consequences still fall on all parties.
But wait there's more! This tendency runs throughout the Scripture and still haunts us today. Many times our shuck of responsibility comes in the form of anywhere from outright denial to a list of rationalizations. In the following cases, excuses means getting out of some kind of service.
God had a clear and precise mission for a man named Jonah - "Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me." (Jonah 1:2) Jonah not only said, "No" to God's instructions to go preach in the city of Nineveh, but he physically tried to run away from God. Moses, when in the presence of God, had a list of inadequacies ready to deflect his call for service.
Don't we do this today? We receive a clear message from The Lord that is supported by Scripture and confirmed by a brother/sister in Christ. Then we promptly say, "Here I am Lord, but I think you got the wrong person - use somebody else."
Craig Groeschel in his book Dangerous Prayers elaborates on this by stating -
"We still do this today. When God challenges us to give, we say, 'But God, I don't have much for myself. Someone else can give more.' When God calls us to serve, we might rationalize, 'I don't have enough time. Surely there are better candidates for this role than me.' When God prompts us to do something, we're tempted to tell Him all the reasons we aren't His best person. We don't know enough. We aren't talented enough. We aren't good enough. There are so many others better qualified for this than us. Here I am, God, but send someone else." (p.115-116)
In one moment we have broken God's heart, believed a lie over God's power in our lives and forsaken the rewards or blessings that come from trusting and obeying God.
The correct and mature response to God and others, in spite of the list of excuses you have, should be a responsible, positive faith-based reply. Ask God to Search you, Break you and Send you. Having God search you means that you are doing the major Spiritual Spring Cleaning with God that has been needed for quite some time. Having God break you means that the Lord brings you to a place where you confess you cannot do this life on your own - you need Him and other Christians. Having God send you means God has developed you to the point where He desires you to - "Go!" - and we should obey.
"Isaiah prayed such a prayer of unreserved availability in the presence of God. The Old Testament prophet retells of his encounter with the Holy One when God asked, 'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?' (Isa. 6:8a) And without knowing the details, without knowing when or where, Isaiah prayed this stunning, life-altering prayer: 'Here I am, Send me.' (Isa. 6:8b)" [p.116, Dangerous Prayers, Groeschel]