Excuses change nothing! They only make the one who is making them feel better….but it doesn’t change the outcome and very often it can be a formula for making the same mistake again.
Making excuses or casting blame is sort of comfort food for the soul. It diverts us from the effort of owning responsibility! The intent of this post? To encourage anyone who reads further to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR LIFE!
We are all going to find ourselves in situations that are not favorable and may be down right terrible. It doesn’t even have to be my/your/our fault. We may have done nothing to cause the situation but it is OUR choice NOT to make excuses. To, instead, face the reality of what has happened, or the situation we find ourselves in, be willing to stare down the situation, put our arms around it, and take the ownership necessary to make it better.
Asking ourselves, “What can I do right now to make this better?” Whining, blaming, sulking and finger pointing doesn’t move you up and out at all. So the simple question to ask yourself is: “What action can I do to make this better?”
A simple analogy …Suppose you are walking down the street, minding your own business, when kids suddenly run by and knock you into a ditch where you get muddy and dirty. You didn’t cause it. It would more than likely bring out strong emotions and you might even yell at them. But sitting in the ditch yelling at the kids and telling people the story of what happened as they walk by isn’t going to get you out of the ditch, get you clean, and on your way.
Was it right? NO.
Was it fair? NO.
Did you cause it? NO.
I know it is a simple analogy but we all, at times, find ourselves in situations where the first thing we do is blame, yell, pout, or complain instead of taking REAL CONTROL and doing what we can to make things better.
Free will–an amazing gift God has given us. The ability to choose. Very often we cannot choose what happens to us, nor do we get to choose the family we were born into, nor the cards we are dealt. But, it is more often how we choose to respond to our situations that takes us to different and better places.
I love the story about the talents (bags of gold) found in Matthew 25. If you don’t know the story, read it in Matthew 25:14-30. It is about a man who is going on a journey. While he is gone he entrusts his wealth to his servants. To one of his servants he gives five bags of gold which the servant immediately puts to work earning five more bags of gold.
To the next servant he gives two bags of gold and this servant immediately goes off to put the money to work, making two more bags of gold. The third servant receives one bag of gold. Instead of putting the money to work, he dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. When the master returned, as you can imagine, he wanted to talk with the servant who “dug the hole and allowed the money to sit idle!” The servant tried to make a case (excuse) by telling of the rumors of how harsh the master was which made hime afraid. But that excuse didn’t matter one bit to the master. He replied to the servant by telling him that, at the very least, he should have taken responsibility and put the money to some kind of use. In other words, there is no excuse. NO matter if we have one talent or twenty, we have a responsibility to put our talent to work. That is the master’s point.
The most current and fabulous example I can think of is Coach Dabo Swinney’s story. He grew up being poor. He didn’t choose to have an alcoholic father, but he did. It wasn’t his ideal choice to have his mother live with him in his college dorm because they had no home but he didn’t make excuses. He took the talent (cards) he was given and he took responsibility for his life.
Just four months ago he led his Division 1 college football team to a National Championship. I can say the same about Deshaun Watson. Take the time to investigate his life story. I can’t do it justice in this post but I can tell you he was only given one talent but he didn’t dig a hole and hide it. He made no excuses for his lack. He went to work. He didn’t whine. Instead, he made some pretty fabulous choices.
Like choosing Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He chose to honor his mother by staying out of trouble. He chose to study and work hard. Just two days ago, with his own money he had earned, he bought his mom her first car, and a nice one at that. These are just two examples that shout to the world how to use the talent given. Don’t make excuses. OWN YOUR LIFE. They didn’t allow the fact that someone else got more talents stop them from developing theirs.
It is not an act of faith to fail to take responsibility for our lives and then think that God is somehow responsible for the outcome.
Just like Adam and Eve in the garden…God gave them gifts, choices and responsibilities. We are no different. I can promise you one thing, if you find yourself in a place that is not desirable, no matter how you got there, you are the only one who can do something about it.
Of course, I encourage you to pray, to read God’s word, which always directs you to His will. But just like Adam and Eve, God gave us a brain and a body and He expects us to move. Not to stay stuck in whining, complaining or making excuses.
Don’t dig holes.
Don’t make excuses.
Ask yourself, and God, “What can I do right now to make this better?”
“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ,” (Colossians 3:23-24).
“Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?” ~Benjamin Franklin