Wednesday, July 23, 2014

31 Days of Joy: Stop Making Excuses

“If it is important to you, you will find a way.
If not, you will make an excuse.”
― Unknown

Stop making excuses.

The dictionary definition of "excuse" is "to make allowance for a short-coming; to overlook; to serve as justification for; to vindicate." As people, we are especially good at making excuses. Sometimes we make excuses to try to keep from hurting someone's feelings. Other times we make excuses to avoid responsibility for our actions. We make excuses for things we did wrong, times we failed, things we don't want to do, situations we don't want to be in. Making excuses isn't a good practice and it is especially dangerous when we start making excuses in our spiritual walk with God. Excuses began with the first sin ever committed. It's in the Bible, Genesis 3:11-13. God asked Adam, 'Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?' Adam said, 'The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.' Then God said to Eve, 'What is this you have done?' The woman said, 'The serpent deceived me, and I ate.' When God gives direction He expects cooperation not excuses. We make excuses when we don't want to obey (like commands to forgive, or to stop gossiping). We make excuses when we don't want to go where God sends us (it may be a mission field, or it may be a visit to a friend, or it may be church). We make excuses when we don't want to believe what God tells us (that all things work for the good). Whatever the challenge, God will be with you. You may not be strong enough by yourself, but you are not by yourself! God is with you. Many people are living miserable lives right now because they refuse to do what God has told them to do. Rather then moving forward, they continue to make excuses to stay in their comfort zone. Instead of obeying God they try to come up with reasons why they shouldn't have to obey. Instead of trusting God's promise they trust their fears. It's time to stop resisting and start following. It's time to stop saying, "I can't" and start saying, "He can".

Focus Scriptures:
3 John 1:2
Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

Hebrews 10:26
For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

Joy in Action Today:
Make a list of things you need God to help you with. Pray and ask Him to help you to make a change in you. Continue to pray the same prayer until you see a change in your life. 
Example: "Lord, please help me to stop..." "God I need your help to..." "Lord, I know with your help I can..."