“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:20 NIV
Over the years I have found it quite frustrating having been told to stop making excuses when I was only trying to explain the circumstances. My response would be, “Let me tell you what happened!” The usual reply was, “Don’t you try making excuses, because I can see for myself what went on here!” Usually that meant my demise in some form or other. It didn’t seem to matter whether it was Mom, Dad, a teacher, or any other adult speaking, it was always the same, “Don’t try making any excuses!” As Charlie Brown would say, “I’m Doomed.”
Are there no such thing as excuses? Personally, I believe there are times when an excuse is called for, is needed. Maybe it depends on the person or situation you are addressing, or on the person who is addressing you. There are times when it is important to give the reason behind the behavior.
I once worked for a former Marine, his mantra was “Your’s is not to reason why, your’s it but to do or die!” He had zero tolerance for excuses and was one of the best bosses I ever worked under. Just as I believe there are times when an excuse is appropriate, there are more times when it is not the responsible thing to do.
I’m going to sound like some old geezer complaining about “kids today”! (You remember the speeches we heard as kids about how bad we were, how we were going to be the death of this nation. We didn’t know what it was to really work, to go without, walk to school in the snow, up a hill both ways barefoot!) There appears to be a whole lot more excuses given than responsibility accepted these days.
Another casualty is accountability. Being accountable not only means being responsible for something but also ultimately being answerable, taking ownership for your actions. In giving accountability we are able to trust someone who will tell us the truth. This individual will be our accountability partner, making sure we are not making excuses for attitudes or behavior that causes us to go back to Egypt, the slavery of sin. Our accountability partner seeks to keep us from going back into bondage from which God has released us.
The truth is none of us is able to live as completely, constantly responsible, and accountable, excuse free. We cannot face life on this broken planet alone. We need God, Jesus, and of course the Comforter. We also need each other. That is why those who are disciples of Jesus, His followers, also are called the body of Christ and Jesus is called the Head. We need each other to lean on, for direction, support, insight, understanding. There is no place in the Word of God we are called to tear anyone down.
Instead, we are commanded to love, to help, to lift, to build up, consider others better than ourselves. Not in some form of perverted humility, but in seeing their value just as we need to understand our value to God. If this does not occur we can’t love as Jesus commanded us to love. Here is where the admonition not to judge can be seen in its best light. Regardless of what we think we know—let me stress that once more—regardless of what we think we know, we know nothing about another’s personal story, their life.
This where the rubber meets the road, as they say (whoever they are). When it comes to making judgements about others the command is clear, crystal clear, Don’t.
Paul is telling the Romans, the entire Christian world there will be no excuses when it comes to the reality of knowing God. If you didn’t have access to written words, to hearing preaching there still are no excuses. Why? That sounds very dogmatic, and I thought Paul was this great preacher to the gentiles! How can he say this, write this as such an absolute?
In our public schools a theory is being taught concerning the origins of this planet, its plant life, everything living, dead, or dying. We are being told animals, birds, fish, mankind appeared from some slime pit billions of years ago. This is taught as fact; it is named the Theory of Evolution. And it is just that, a theory. When pressed on the inconsistencies, science makes excuses. According to the verse from the letter to the Romans, Paul writes there is no excuse for the religion of evolution. Everything in creation testifies to the reality of God as Creator. Just as Christianity requires faith, so does it require faith to believe in Evolution.
Most people in this country have been exposed to Christianity in some form. Actually, as I write these words I am aware that being exposed to Christianity in some form could cause some to have a valid position for excuses. And if I read God’s word correctly, the Church will have some explaining to do, without excuses! Does anyone want to stand before God answering Him when His word clearly states there are no excuses?
This brings us to Paul’s information for the Romans, and through them to everyone who has lived, moving forward in time to us. God has revealed Himself. His divine nature and His power are clearly seen in what God has created. There it is, evolution is the enemy’s religion provided to confuse a world concerning who God is, what He is capable of doing, and deluding God’s creations by giving them excuses why God cannot exist.
When the enemy in the guise of the serpent convinced Eve of the lie, doubt concerning who God was became embedded in mankind. Down through the centuries God and His eternal power and divine nature have been challenged, dismissed, perverted, denied, rejected, and considered nothing more than myths and legends, even among those who claim to believe and follow Him. What God is, is hotly disputed lowering God, too often, to nothing.
And as with most things concerning God there is a choice to be made. Once more God’s decision to create humanity with the ability to choose for themselves reveals amazing love and grace. Everyone has a choice to make, that choice is between them and God.
This is what I know about those who choose God, their lives will never be the same again. It’s the most amazing adventure one will ever experience! Guaranteed it won’t be easy, it’s not always fun, sometimes you will want to quit. Then there are those days, amazing days, when the Comforter takes you to places, to ministries, to one on one encounters that remind you who you are and who has you securely in His plans for you!
When we connect with God through Jesus, with the Comforter, there is no better place to be. There are no excuses to give, there is Grace in our Process, a transforming power from the very divine nature and eternal power of God.
You should love the Eternal, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” The second great commandment is this: “Love others in the same way you love yourself.” There are no commandments more important than these. Mark 12:30-31 The Voice
God has already saved us and called us to this holy calling—not because of any good works we may have done, but because of His own intention and because eons and eons ago (before time itself existed), He gave us this grace in Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King. 2 Timothy 1:9 The Voice
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