Friday, 18 October 2019

Excuseology 101

Proverbs 14:8 The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.

      So, what's your excuse? The excuses used to not do a task can take more energy than actually doing the task. Last Friday afternoon, I got hit with one big flu-bug that brought shaking chills throughout my body, a gravelly sound coming from my throat, and dizziness that kept me laying down wrapped in a wool blanket. I slept all day and kept sleeping right into the early morning of the next day. I woke up energy-weak and muscle-sore but I felt a whole lot better.
      I normally arrive at the gym early on Saturdays. On that Saturday morning, however, I was feeling the residual effects of the previous day's bug. I had a good excuse not to go to the gym, but there was this other bug tickling my brain. I said, "Now listen here Norm. If you use the - I don't feel well excuse this morning, then what will be the excuse next Saturday morning, and the Saturday after that?" I'm too tired, I don't have time, I don't feel up to it, and finally, I don't want to go anymore! It does not take much effort to break a good healthy habit.
      In our perfidy, we trick ourselves by using ready-made lies to give up on what was once important. It is so easy to deceive ourselves with excuses of all kinds. Prov. 14:8 The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception. Before we know it, we are practising excuseology 101 in all our ways. Needless to say, I did go down to the gym and did my best with the energy I had. I was pleased that I had gone and worked out, because I pushed through a lot of pain and stiffness. With God's grace, I felt much better throughout the rest of the day.
      We read in the parable of the Ten Minas, a master had given his servants money to invest according to the servant's capabilities. The first two servants, without excuse, brought back a capital-gain that was pleasing to the master. The third servant who allowed fear and laziness to direct his actions came up with a grandiose excuse for not working, rather than creating a return on capital. Luke 19:20  But the third servant brought back only the original amount of money and said, ‘Master, I hid your money and kept it safe. 21 I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man.
       Excuses are a dime a dozen, as the saying goes. We can put our energy into getting out of work, or use our energy to complete the work. The energy itself doesn't care which way you go, as the energy will get used up either way. Therefore, use God's energy in your life to bring about life. 
      In the Gospel of John, we read the story of a man who had been lying in his debilitating sickness for a very long time. John 5:5 One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. John 5:7 The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” For thirty-eight years this man had used the excuse that he had no one to help. Was this possible after all that time, that there was no one to help? Interestingly, Jesus asked him if he wanted to get well. John 5:6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” 
      This poor man with no one to help had used that belief as an excuse for his permanent lot in life. When Jesus asked, "Do you want to get well?" He was showing the man that his focus was on his excuse of having no one to lend a hand. Do you want to get well and change the way you have lived and believed for the last thirty-eight years? I'm just speculating, but I think the Lord wanted him to declare his desire to be healed and move forward without excuses.
      We all have to answer this same question when it comes to our lives and whether we will continue to exercise our repertoire of excuses day after day. Do you want to get well? Do you want victory over what is holding you back? Do you want to live? Do you want to lose all that weight that is making you ill? Do you want to come out from under your deception and change your thinking? Well, do you? What's your excuse? 
      Of course, we all want victory in our lives, and we all want to be well and made whole. Therefore, let us change our excuses for declarations of faith, of what we want in the Lord, and focus on that. 
      Learning to stop the excuses in their tracks before they come out of our mouth would go a long way toward our maturity in Christ. We have to stay ahead of our duplicitous human nature that manifests so easily into laziness. If we are going to cut class, then let it be Excuseology 101, because most people have an A+ in that course. Blessings saints. Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might. Amen!

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