“The sluggard says, ‘There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets!’”
Proverbs 22:13 (ESV)
What’s the most preposterous excuse you’ve heard, or even better, that you’ve given for not doing something you knew you were were supposed to do?
While we can laugh at the sluggard’s not wanting to go to work in Proverbs 22:13 because he believes that lions roaming the city streets will surely kill him (when in fact, lions stayed in the woods and outside of town), his situation isn’t nearly as funny when we begin to consider our own irrational fears that propel us not to do things that we should.
I will admit that I have made up some of my own preposterous excuses, one of which stems from my irrational fear of germs. When my daughter was little, there were times when I wouldn’t take her to certain fun places for kids because I was fearful of what she might catch there. Let’s just say she didn’t play in a public park till she was over two years old. My excuse: It’s not safe.
But, in all seriousness, regarding the things in life that really matter, do you make excuses to not do them? Do you take your work seriously? On a spiritual note, do you tell others about Christ? The Lord wants us to reach out to a world that needs Jesus and tell them the Good News. How often do you do that? What are your excuses for not telling others about Christ?
I’m ashamed to say I’ve felt all of the following excuses at one time or another. But I want to let go of them and leave my sluggardness behind as God reveals to me the preposterousness of those excuses.
I’ll be rejected and/or it will ruin my relationship with a friend/family member. If fear of rejection is an obstacle, remember “God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NASB) We should keep our focus on Jesus, and remember the reason for telling someone about him: those who are not in Christ will be eternally separated from him. It is worth saying something, whether we are rejected or not. The results of never saying anything is eternal separation. How can we live with that?
“These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:46 (NASB)
I don’t know what to say. There are many ways to present the Gospel (plans, tracts, programs), but the most effective way is to tell the story of how Christ has changed your life. Prayer is vital before you speak, as well.
“and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. ” Ephesians 6:19-20 (ESV)
I simply don’t have time. What is most important to you? Search your heart to determine what you treasure. Do you believe running errands is more important than heavenly eternity for a person’s soul?
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21 (NIV)
The person is hopeless. Why bother? God created us all, and if he can be patient with us, then we should be patient with each other. Aren’t we glad the Lord was patient with us?
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)