Excuses! Excuses!!

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Every so often I read of excuses people make for all sorts of things; everything from lost homework, to why they can’t exercise, or why their crazy kids are crazy! My very favorite excuses are work related. So much funny stuff out there. Here are just a few of my all time favorites. “My heat was shut off so I had to stay home to keep my snake warm.” “My left turn signal was out so I had to make all right turns to get to work.” And the one I would personally use: “I walked into a spider web on the way out the door and couldn’t find the spider, so I had to go inside and shower again!” I know – that one’s pretty sad!

George Washington once said that “It’s better to offer no excuse than a bad one,” but really, we all make excuses for things we don’t want to do. And, alas, some of those things are pretty important and should never be avoided! The Bible even has a truly interesting narrative about this very subject found in Luke 14.

It seems a certain man had planned a scrumptious banquet and sent out invitations. When the date finally arrived, he sent his servant out to contact his guests, letting them know everything was a go for the big blowout. But unfortunately, every single one of his invited guests made an excuse as to why they wouldn’t be attending. Lame excuses!

One guy had just purchased property and needed to go take a look at it. Really?! Someone buys property and has never laid eyes on it? He could have bought moon property for all he knew. Another gentleman replied that he had recently purchased some oxen and needed to try them out. Seriously?! You just bought a new car without even a test drive? Who does that?! And yet another – the best excuse yet – this guy had just gotten married. Probably recently returned from his honeymoon at the Mediterranean Beach Hotel so, of course, he couldn’t come. Sounds a little fishy to me!

Every single invited guest was a no-show. The parable ends with the host of the banquet resolving that “not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.” And, who can blame him? Banquet invites sent out, delicious banquet meal prepared, and now – banquet boycott. So, without hesitation, the host sends his servant out into the streets, inviting the poor, maimed, lame, and the blind. But still there was room in abundance, so the servant was sent out yet again with these instructions: “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled”

The host here is God, and the great banquet is His Kingdom. We are all invited but how many reject this gracious invitation? The Bible tells us God loves us so much that He desires not one be lost. He loves us so much that He literally said, “Over my dead body!” So what exactly were all these people rejecting? Simple really – they rejected God, thus they rejected eternity with God. It’s John 3:16 at its best: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

My husband and I once knew a terrific family that we invited to church every so often. At first, they were busy with kids – music lessons, soccer, etc. “We would really love to come, but can you catch us another time?” they asked. Time went by. Another invite – “Thank you so much, but we’re so busy with work schedules now and we only have weekends off. Please be sure to give us a raincheck. We’d really love to come.” More time went by. Yet another invite – “Thank you, but we’re retired now, and just don’t feel up to getting out much these days. Thank you anyway.” But honestly, by then, they really no longer even cared.

Unfortunately, those who ignored the invitation to the banquet chose their own destiny. And they missed out. But don’t we have the exact same choices today? You bet we do! And we also make similar excuses. But in the end, we will take time for the things that really matter to us. As Michael Josephson rightly noted: “The choices you make in your life will make your life. Choose wisely.”

Bob and Susan Beckett pastor The Dwelling Place City Church at 27100 Girard Street in Hemet, Ca. For more information, you can contact them at DPCityChurch.org

Susan Beckett • The Dwelling Place City Church

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