What the bible has to say about excuses?

The Bible has something to say about many excuses a man can come up with to avoid responsibilities. Below, please find a few I highlighted in bold:

1. Creating mental illusions

The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road! There is a lion in the streets!” Proverbs 26:13

2. Waiting for the right time

Thus says the Lord of hosts: These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord.” Haggai 1:2

3. Blaming physical disability

But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak…..” Exodus 4:10-14 

4. Coming up with just about anything

To another, he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:59-62

5. Plainly avoiding responsibilities

Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Genesis 3:13

The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Genesis 3:12

6. Embracing weaknesses

…….And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” And the Lord said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.” …Judges 6:12-17

A friend of mine writes and draws every day. She’s published several illustrated books, none of which have become international bestsellers, and English isn’t even her first language (though her books are published in English). She never went to art school or got an MFA in creative writing. Still, She writes and draws every day and makes a decent living doing it. I assume that if her computer stopped working, she’d revert to writing and drawing on paper. If she broke her left hand, she’d go slower, but write and draw with her right hand instead. Excuses that would stop some of us become mountains for her, and she’s skilled at mental climbing.

Another friend is also super talented. He’s published a few articles and illustrations online, and they’re great and even achieved a bit of notoriety. The thing is, he hasn’t published many of them. For him, everything has to be perfect to proceed. His rooibos tea has to be brewed perfectly and sitting just so on his desk. All his chores have to be done. His kids have to be sleeping or at least not playing loudly in the next room. He can’t feel tired or stressed or even be hungry in order to create. If he starts to think about whether his work will be well received, a best seller, or criticized, etc, he’ll talk himself out of work for the day. Circumstances need to be just right for him, which means that most days he doesn’t draw or write. Excuses defeat him and defeat him often. Unless the mountains turn flat and easy stroll, he just mentally stays home.

Both friends have very similar talents and skills. Very similar life circumstances too. Yet, the first sees problems as challenges to solve. The second sees problems as reasons to stop or to never even start.

More and more, I’ve noticed that our reality is almost entirely based on our perception of it. So, if we think something is true, we’re mostly right. Once we begin to assume circumstances need to be perfect to proceed, that becomes the case. Excuses are a story we tell ourselves to not move forward. To wait until things are perfect to start.

Can’t start freelancing unless you’re able to quit your full-time job?
Can’t write a book because your computer is too slow?
Can’t be creative unless you’re inspired?

People often ask me what inspires and motivates me to write. My answer is always the same: I’m not inspired or motivated every hour of every day – I just do the work I need to do. I believe in what the Lord said I can do despite my circumstances.  I’m inspired by what He has accomplished in Me and I cling to that. I don’t treat writing like it’s precious. Which may sound like I’m not doing it justice, but I think the opposite is true. If I’m writing for something beyond myself, then writing is my purpose.

A doctor doesn’t wait until she’s inspired to do surgery to save a patient’s life. A lawyer doesn’t wait for circumstances to be absolutely perfect before she tries a case for her client. They have work to do, so they do it. There’s no mental hacks or habits or tricks required.

Why is writing work any different? It shouldn’t be, especially when it’s your high purpose. If I’m a designer, then I spend my days designing. If I’m a writer, I sit down and write. Yes, sometimes the work will be not up to par, but it doesn’t matter. Yes, sometimes I’ll stare at a screen for longer than anyone should. But sometimes my work and flow is awesome. Indeed, the chances of awesome work and flow only increase if you work at it. If you wait until the house is quiet and your mood is just right, then you aren’t going to be working very often. And that’s a big problem.

We all assume that motivation is required for any work—but I think it’s the opposite: any work is required for motivation.

And also, the bible has a lot to say about excuses.


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