The first and perhaps longest-enduring evidence of the ‘fall’ comes in Genesis 3:12. When the Lord questioned Adam in the garden about eating the forbidden fruit, Adam responded, “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” Here was the beginning of the blame game. From that day to this, when a person is confronted with wrongdoing or disobedience, they usually take the default position. That position is to give an excuse or try to shift the blame or say, “It’s not my fault.”
Custer Reynolds, a wise man from eastern Kentucky, often shared with me ‘wisdom from the hills’. He gave me this definition of an excuse: “An excuse is the skin of a reason stuffed with a lie”. Experience has validated that definition for me. There is also a lighthearted comment I like that reflects our unwillingness to accept responsibility for our actions: “I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.”
From childhood up, we have heard people say, “It’s not my fault,” when someone is confronted with their failure to do what they were supposed to do. A comedian, Flip Wilson, became famous by using the line, “The Devil made me do it.” All of us would be well-served if we would realize that there is coming a day when all excuses will be rejected. The Apostle Paul said in the Epistle to the Romans that the Law of God will be lifted up so “… every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God” (Romans 3:19 NKJV).
On the day when all people will be called to stand before the Lord at judgment, no rationalization or excuse will be allowed. Everything will be seen as it really is. All excuses will be silenced. From scripture, here are a few common excuses that have been tried and rejected:
- Personal Inadequacy – Moses offered this as an excuse in Exodus 3:11 and Exodus 4:11.
- Lack of Standing Among Peers – Gideon tried this excuse on the Lord in Judges 6:15.
- Job Is Too Difficult – Solomon talks of a lazy man who tried this excuse in Proverbs 22:13.
- Too Weak – Jeremiah tried to excuse himself from God’s call by saying, “I am a child” (Jeremiah 1:6).
- The Hardness of The Master – Jesus shares a parable of a servant who was afraid of the expectations of his master (Matthew 25:24).
- Did Not See The Need – In the parable in Matthew 25:44, Jesus stresses our responsibility to the needy.
- Pressure of Personal Business – Several excuses were offered by people Jesus invited to follow Him (Luke 14:18).
The scripture is clear. There is no excuse for sin. “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:21-22).
“So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12 NKJV)
~ Brother Roy