Teacher: “So why didn’t you get your homework completed and handed in on time?
Student: “Well, I left it on the table and my dog ate it!”
Teacher: “Why were you absent from school yesterday?”
Student: “I didn’t come to school yesterday because I was feeling like I was going to be sick, but thankfully I wasn’t!”
Pastor: “We missed you last Sunday?”
Church Member: “I worked late all week and was too tired to get up.” “My son had a ballgame.” “We needed to spend time with the family.”
Pastor: “Why haven’t you been attending church?”
Church Member: “I like a smaller church.” “There’s too many hypocrites down there.” “The church isn’t friendly anymore.” “The church doesn’t meet my needs.”
People are experts at making excuses. We use excuses to make an allowance for a failure, to make us look good, to shy away from having to fulfill an obligation, and to soothe our conscious, just to name a few.
In Luke 9, we find Jesus responding to three excuse-makers who really did not want to follow Christ. As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” 59 To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 And Jesus[g] said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” 62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:57-62). These three excuses were wrapped up in “creature comforts, family ties, and divided loyalties,” and they all sounded legitimate.
Are you into making excuses for not being a sold-out follower of Christ? May I kindly say that many of the excuses used are a manifestation of elementary Christian living equal to the boy’s excuse of the dog eating his homework. The bottom line is, we can do anything we ought to do, and we do what we want to do.
Question: How will your excuses work for you when you stand before Christ at the Bema? “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” (2 Corinthians 5:10)