My Daddy always said, “Don’t make excuses, Sis. Your friends don’t need them, and your enemies won’t believe you anyway.”
Excuses are explanations for why someone didn’t do what was expected or don’t want to do the reasonable thing. They are generally heard when an individual KNOWS they let someone down. Excuses are usually lame. The person making the excuse knows it, and the person to whom the excuse is directed knows it. Excuses are self-centered and the usual goal of an excuse is to extract forgiveness or at least understanding.
There are a lot of examples in Scripture of people making excuses. Starts in the third chapter of Genesis with the fall of man: “The woman who YOU gave me gave me the fruit.” “The serpent beguiled me.”
And then there was the time Saul got impatient when the Prophet Samuel didn’t arrive when he said he would. Saul had the nerve to take on the priest’s role and offer a sacrifice. Samuel arrived and asked, “What have you done?” “Well, you didn’t come, the army was deserting me, and the Philistines were gathering, and I FORCED myself to offer the sacrifice.”
The Lord even told a parable about excuses made to a man who had prepared a big feast. Evidently, the gentleman had sent out “save the date” notices; but when it came time, the caterers were there, and the feast was ready, everybody had good reasons not to come after all. Rather than let all that food go to waste, the master commanded his servants to bring people in off the streets to the banquet.
Of course, Jesus was directing this parable to His chosen people. It was a warning that the invitation had a limited lifetime; and if not accepted, the invitation to the Kingdom of God would be extended to people seemingly unworthy.
There is one example of an excuse in Scripture that was not self-centered. It WAS a request for forgiveness, but not from the one wronged. Here it is: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
God on a cross made an excuse, a request for forgiveness, to His Father for the people who were killing Him.
Who killed Jesus? The Romans? The Jews? All of us who have ever sinned? Yes. (E) All the Above. And because of the inexhaustible love of God, Jesus is still making excuses for us in Heaven. “No. She didn’t really mean that. She’s sorry, and she’s asked me for forgiveness. She’s mine, and I’ve covered her with my robe of righteousness. See? She’s perfect!”
Yes, please, Lord Jesus! I am without an excuse.