During my college days, one friend became known as a master of excuses. If his assignments were late or if he missed a class, each excuse was well crafted and unassailable. No matter the situation, he always looked innocent, the victim of circumstances.
More recently, in a meeting with employee supervisors, the discussion turned to work related excuses. And yes, we laughed a lot at the creativity some workers “employed” (pun intended). Of course, there are many acceptable excuses like sickness, funerals, or family emergencies.
One supervisor told us that he had an employee call in to say that he would be missing work because he was interviewing for another job! Another supervisor said that one of her employees didn’t come to work due to feeling “unhappy.”
But the best excuse was told by a man who managed a delivery service. One week after starting the job, a recent hire called in to say that he couldn’t work for awhile because, “I pulled a calf muscle in my leg while reaching down to pick up my cell phone from the floor while holding my baby!”
An excuse may be defined as an attempt to remove blame, or to obtain an exemption for a recent deed. Sometimes, it is an effort to justify something we have done, and to ask for forgiveness or mercy for our actions.
Excuses are not new. We even see them in Bible times. It was Eve who blamed the serpent for making her disobey God (Genesis 3:13). Then, Adam blamed Eve for his disobedience (Genesis 3:12). The excuse that Moses used to avoid the call of God was that he had speech problems (Exodus 4:10). And Jeremiah excused himself from God’s service by saying that he was too young (Jeremiah 1:7).
But the classic excuse is found in Exodus 32:24. Moses had gone to the mountain and Aaron was in charge. When the people complained about needing a visible object to worship, Aaron had them bring their jewelry and cast it into a fire. When Moses returned, the people were naked and dancing before a golden calf. He asked Aaron about this sacrilege, and Aaron said that he cast the jewelry into the fire “and this calf came out!”
Benjamin Franklin said, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” And the Apostle Peter stated in 1 Peter 2:16 NLT, “Don’t use your freedom as an EXCUSE to do evil.” God is not looking for EXCUSES, He is looking for one who PRODUCES righteousness.
It was Jesus who spoke about His mission to earth by saying in John 15:22 NIV, “If I had not come and spoken to them [the world], they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have NO EXCUSE for their sin.” Sobering, but true. Be honest and faithful with the Lord without excuse.