Sin, What’s Your Excuse?
“If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life maimed or crippled than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into fiery Gehenna.” Matthew -18:8-9
Excuses, we all make them. Sometimes they are harmless, other times they can be life-changing, shameful, or dishonest.
We put off yearly medical exams, mammograms, colonoscopies, dental exams always finding something else in our lives more important. Sometimes we put them off so long that a problem that could have been diagnosed early is out of control. We are embarrassed that our excuses caused us to put our health at risk.
We want to get together with and old friend in a nearby city. But, something always is more important and we make lame excuses why we can’t visit. Years go by, our friend passes away, and we forever regret that we never made seeing them a priority.
A disagreement results is a family argument with family members taking sides. They haven’t talked in years, estranged from the people that they should love the most. Years later, they can’t even remember the reason for the split. They want to reconcile, but old wounds make for too many excuses and only a family tragedy brings them together.
Yes, excuses are powerful life changing road blocks to our happiness.
“If we sin deliberately after receiving knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains sacrifice for sins” Hebrews 10:26
The same holds true for sin. Each of us is born with an understanding of right and wrong. It’s imprinted on our DNA. But, we still sin knowing that it is wrong. We have excuses for every sin!
“It’s in my background.”
I was brought up that way.”
“Everyone is doing it.”
“Someone hurt me, I was falsely accused!”
Don’t feel bad. The bible is full of people making excuses! Adam and Eve had an excuse, Cain did, Noah’s people, and even Satan made excuses.
So, how do we begin to put these excuses aside and declare, “NO MORE EXCUSES” for sin? How do we take ownership of our sins and eliminate the excuses for continuing to commit the same ones?
First, we must recognize the temptation and admit and our weakness in dealing with it. Then, pray for the grace to overcome the temptation and resist it.
Here are a few actions that we can take to do this;
- Pray for the grace to resist the temptation. Most people commit the same sins over and over again. Prayer is a powerful defense against sin.
- Avoid sinful places and people. My dad used to say, “you become who you hang out with.” If you go places where you are flirting with sin or hang out with people who lead you to sin you will find resisting difficult.
“The just act as guides to their neighbors, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Proverbs 12:26
- Stop blaming others or the situation. The devil didn’t make you do it and neither did anyone else. You are singularly responsible for your actions and no self-justification applies.
- Stop procrastinating. I’ll start the new diet next week or this fall I’ll get back to the gym simply puts off taking action. It is simply just another excuse. Same with sin. If you want to stop sinning, start now!
In Matthew 18, Jesus uses the technique of amplification and exaggeration, customary of the times, to make a point of the power and seriousness of sin. We don’t need to start cutting off limbs and plucking out our eyes, but we do need to make the pledge of “no more excuses!”
Let’s take the pledge together.
Original blog used with permission can be found at the following link.