No More Excuses!

Excuses are not your friend, they are your enemy. We often confuse a reason with an excuse. For example….I couldn’t make the phone call I was supposed to make because we had unexpected company stop by. But I could shoot a quick text to let them know and make sure I called as soon as I could. Reason.

An excuse gives temporary relief but the relief is fleeting…..the effects wears off. For example…I was too busy to get in any exercise….Excuse. The lack of stress relief, weight gain, over all sense of well-being builds…. the results catch up. The excuse did not resolve my problem. It made it worse and prolonged the consequence.

You can read scripture and realize making excuses has been a part of mankind from the get go. From Adam…making an excuse before God blaming Eve for his actions….to Moses…making excuses for his speech in leading the Israelites out of Egypt. My friends….God is an equipper. He cannot be fooled with excuses. At times He allows a long rope….and allows us to go a long time…until we are literally at the “END OF OUR ROPE!”

This is the time of year for gift giving. In the upcoming new year, one of the greatest gifts we all have been given is time. Everyone has the same amount of hours in a day. Some may have more resources but that, I find, many times is an excuse for people not to use their God-given potential to achieve.

Sometimes a lack of resources is a gift from God. It prompts people to get out of their comfort zone and seek the help of others. Or, it makes people develop a work ethic, save money to put toward their dreams, that results in them accomplishing much in life. At 52, I have personally known people who have been highly successful with little or no resources; but they used their time, God-given talent and let their passion and desire drive them.

Both my father and father-in-law reached a high level of success in business…with little or no resources. My dad did not have a college degree or money when he started out. At the end of his career he built the first toll road in South Carolina.

Bill’s father was headed to a professional football career but had a career-ending injury. He didn’t make excuses. He redirected his passion to business and looked for opportunities to start something. He went from selling cars to observing a hamburger stand selling hamburgers in Rocky Mount, NC. After sitting in the parking lot one day on his day off and counted sales, he approached Mr. Hardee about buying the hamburger stand. He got the answer he was looking for, “yes”. He borrowed money to buy that hamburger stand which eventually became Hardee’s Food Chain. I have benefited greatly from both men in understanding….excuses are not your friend!

So, what is your friend?

Passion, desire, developing a work ethic and NOT MAKING EXCUSES!

In 2015…I want to encourage you to be very honest with yourself. Get “naked” in your mind with your thoughts and your life. Make a list of dreams, goals, unfulfilled desires that you have possibly “EXCUSED” away. Often, very often….when we decide to decide…to NOT make excuses, to not allow that to be a part of our life picture anymore, that is when things start to change. Taking responsibility and valuing the life and talents we have been given.

I think of all the stories in the Old Testament related to offering sacrifices and building the temple. God had very specific instructions on how all of it should be done. There was a right way and a wrong way to offer a sacrifice. The skilled workers used their gifts to engrave, embroider, design, weave, etc. for the temple (See Exodus 35). Among other things, I think it shows the importance of using our gifts, giving God our best, glorifying Him. Doesn’t God deserve our very best?

Maybe the very first thing I/you/we need to do is to quit giving God a head fake and either commit or recommit our life to Christ. Inviting Him into our hearts and repenting of sin (which He will freely forgive). It may not get rid of the consequences for our choices, but it redeems us and puts us on a new path. God can and will “restore the years the locust have eaten away!” (Joel 2:25).

Maybe it means going to someone and asking forgiveness? Remember…once you have asked…it doesn’t matter if they forgive you. It matters that you were willing to humble yourself and ask. That is the only thing God expects of you. You cannot control other people’s responses.

Maybe I/you/we need to extend forgiveness to someone? Remember, unforgiveness is a self-imposed prison. It is like drinking the poison ourselves but waiting on someone else to die.

Point of post….2015 can be different, a better different for anyone.

It starts with a relationship with my/your/our Creator, Jesus. From that, He can empower and lead you to self-discovery…to change…to new paths, friends, relationships, and endeavors for actually fulfilling your created purpose. I/you/we all have the time but no one can make the choices for you!

I like how George Bernard Shaw looks at things. He once said, “People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, they make them.”

Will you keep making lame excuses? Or, will you extinguish all excuses in 2015? It is up to you!

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