But without exception they all began to make excuses. Luke 14:18
When I was 12, I was playing second base for an all-star team. I still remember dropping that pop fly that ended up, in part, costing us the win. I made excuses—blaming the rain and even the lights (it was a night game). At the time, I didn’t think I was making excuses; I just didn’t want the loss to be my fault.
Excuses spread like a virus. We blame the refs, our teammates and even the weather! We make excuses for why we’re late to practice, why we didn’t work out, why we missed a shot—you name it. When we justify why we didn’t do what we should’ve, it’s easier to make excuses the next time.
“Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure” (Don Wilder).
Every excuse we make may seem insignificant, but in the end it helps hold together a life of failure. Nobody sees the nails, but they are there.
In Luke 14, Jesus exposes excuses. Those who had been invited to the Great Banquet feast found many excuses for why they couldn’t attend, but none of the reasons were genuine.
But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, “I have just bought a field, and I must go see it. Please excuse me.” Another said, “I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.” Still another said, “I just got married, so I can’t come” (Luke 14:18-20, NIV).
Excuses never make you better. And they don’t change your circumstances: they solidify them. When excuses become a habit, we’re running on a road to failure. These three words are a sure sign of an excuse: could’ve, would’ve and should’ve.
Instead of pointing the finger, we need to take responsibility and assume ownership of the problem. We must own both the problem and the solution. It’s time to stop making excuses.
1. Have you ever played the blame game? Why is this so destructive to a team?
2. Do you take personal responsibility, or do you make excuses? Why?
Luke 6:41-42, 18:9-14, Philippians 2:2-4
Father, show me ways that I’ve become an excuse-maker. Help me to take personal responsibility and make changes necessary for excellence. Amen.