He said to another person, “Come, follow me. The man agreed, but he said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father. But Jesus told him, “Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead! Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God. Another said, Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family. But Jesus told him, Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God. Luke 9:59-62
Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure. ~Don Wilder and Bill Rechin
Don Wilder and Bill Rechin are the cartoonist team for the comic strip Crock. They coined the great quote above. This quote is one of the best ones I have ever heard on the topic of excuses. Excuses are what keep us from the dreams that we desire and that God desirers in our lives. If you are on track with God, your dreams will be His will for your life. The hurdles we have to face are our own excuses that we use to find that “perfect moment.” In case you didn’t know, that “perfect moment” does not exist. If you want to fail every time you try to do a step toward your dream, just keep waiting for the “perfect moment.” There are five excuses that keep us from moving our lives forward. I have used them all.
In the above scripture, before we get to the first excuse, Jesus always had an answer to foil the excuse given. Jesus was tough on excuses and so should we. The first one is the environmental excuse. It’s too hot, too cold, too dark, too bright. These are all environmental excuses. I always used the environmental excuse when I wanted to justify not exercising. It’s too hot, so I will wait till September to start an exercise program. It’s too cold so I will wait till April to begin an exercise program. Waiting for the perfect environment in which to begin something is a way not to ever begin it. If God is leading you to begin a business, but you look at the economy and worry that it will never work, you will never start that business. Fear gives credence to the excuse. Too hot might mean I will drop dead if I begin my exercise program. In reality just moving will be a safer way to be than sedentary. The same with a business, it may not look good, but maybe God is trying to teach you faith and patience.
The next excuse that I would always use is the physical excuse. I can’t do it because I am too big, I can’t walk that far because my back hurts. Please don’t take this the wrong way, there are some people that physically cannot do something, but for the most part people are fine, they just let their fear feed the excuse. It was plenty painful losing a ton of weight, but the reward was more than I can put into words. A physical excuse is an excuse to be idle. When you are idle, you will not do what needs to be done to begin. This can apply to a business or a relationship, not just exercise. I can’t is really I won’t and you can justify idle behavior anyway you want.
Excuse 3 is the time excuse. I don’t have time to exercise, or I don’t have time to read my bible. I still struggle with this one and have to remember that there are 24 hours in a day and 2/3rds of the day, which is 16 hours, is devoted to 8 hours of work and 8 hours of hopefully down time. Some of those hours are driving around going from one point to another point. It seems so easy to find time when you put it in this perspective, but there are factors that can keep us from enjoying this time. Overtime at work, travel time, and unexpected circumstances are some factors. The point is that if you love something enough, if you are passionate about it, you will find the time to do it.
Continuing on to the next one is the discomfort excuse. Discomfort is a big discourager toward any goal. Pain and discomfort are always going to be a part of something that will make a difference in your life. A great example is exercising with a bunch of fit people and getting on the elliptical machine with an oxygen tank on the floor next to me. Had I took the time to give power to discomfort; I would never have gone to the gym. I’’s very embarrassing to be 449 pounds to begin with, but to enter a gym with fit looking people is very difficult, with the stares you get. Then get on the elliptical for a few minutes. Had I really cared more about how I looked than my own health and wellness, I would not be here typing this blog today.
The last excuse and it’s the biggest one is the creation excuse. This is where we, in principle, blame God for why we are this way. God made me this way, so I will always be obese. I actually had said that. I got to age 40 and said I would never be able to lose this weight. I got to the point and said this is how God made me, so I guess I will stay this way. The lies we tell ourselves are amazing. The truth is, our decisions in life make us this way.
The antidote and the answer to all excuses are our decisions. We get it in our head that we don’t have a choice, but we always have a choice. Jesus points this out in the above verses. Jesus wasn’t saying don’t bury the dead loved ones or not to say goodbye to your family. He was saying that you have a choice in everything you do and sometimes the choice may be a difficult one to make, it may seem unpopular, but if it’s God’s will; He will move when you move. Environment, physical, time, discomfort, and creation excuses can be answered by the power of choice that God gave us. We have to overcome ourselves and get past the lies the enemy tells us and the lies we tell ourselves.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.