Have You Heard This One?

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Have you ever wondered why you aren’t accomplishing more?

When we begin to think back about why we didn't do this …  or why that didn't work, the very first thought our flesh will usually come up with is an excuse.... all we need to do is begin making excuses and the devil is ever ready to jump in and help us out.

Don’t give him the satisfaction.

Hebrews 12:12-13 in the Message Bible really stirred my spirit when I read it.  The verses say:

“So don't sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it!”

What would make people sit on their hands and drag their feet. . .it happens when they make excuses.

The American Heritage Dictionary says that an excuse is “the act of justification.”

Before you make any excuses, you need to check out what Proverbs 24:11 in the Message Bible says:

“Rescue the perishing; don't hesitate to step in and help. If you say, "Hey, that's none of my business," will that get you off the hook? Someone is watching you closely, you know— Someone not impressed with weak excuses.” 

What’s a weak excuse?  Anything that suggests the power of God and your faith can’t overcome every obstacle.

Here’s an absolute fact.

Sucessful people make plans. . .unsuccessful people make excuses.

2 Thessalonians 3:10 in the Message Bible says:

“Don't you remember the rule we had when we lived with you? "If you don't work, you don't eat." And now we're getting reports that a bunch of lazy good-for-nothings are taking advantage of you. This must not be tolerated. We command them to get to work immediately—no excuses, no arguments—and earn their own keep. Friends, don't slack off in doing your duty.”

If we spend our lives looking for excuses. . .we’ll never find the time to find the answer to our problems.

As I frequently say, if you’re good at making excuses. . .you’ll never be good at anything else.

People with excuses will never be remembered for what they did . . . or even what they could have done.

Today, I want to examine six excuses that tend to hold believers back from being wise financial stewards.

Excuse #1                I don’t have time.

You will always make time for what you want to do. Not taking the time to plan wisely costs big time in the end. Your schedule may be harried and over committed but make gaining financial wisdom a priority.

By the way, you have the same amount of time as the wealthiest people in the world. . .the only question is what we do with that time.

Do a time inventory. . .to understand where you’re spending your time now. . .so you can make a wise decision on how to re-direct your priorities.

Excuse # 2               I don't make enough money.

What's the first thing you pay when you get your paycheck? If the answer is your mortgage, your car note or your credit card bills, you're probably buying into this excuse.

One reason many people don't think they have enough to save is because they don't know where their money is going or how much money they're spending on items they don't need.

People say, 'Money just goes through my fingers,' or, 'I don't know what happened to it,'

I tell people there was a time in my life when if money talked to me. . .all it ever said was  goodbye!

Some people feel they don’t make enough money because they fail to tithe which closes the windows of heaven over them.

After you get paid. . .write you tithe and offering checks first thing. . .regardless of whether it’s Sunday or not.

If you’re robbing God (Malachi 3:8-11) you’ll never have enough money.

Excuse #3                I'll do that tomorrow, next week or next year.

Ecclesiastes 11:4 in The Living Bible says:

“If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.”

Now is the time. . .to start saving at whatever level you can.  Never despise small beginnings.

Actually it is easier and more beneficial to save when you are younger.

As you get older bad habits can make it harder to change. By then you don’t have the benefit of time, which is one of the greatest factors in successful wealth accumulation.

As an example someone who starts saving $100 a month at age 20, earning 7 % interest, would have about $380,000 at retirement age. Someone who waits until age 35 to start would have only $122,000.

Think about it.

Excuse #4                I deserve a break today

If you buy something with money you don’t have. . .you’re not getting a lasting financial break but a temporary fix to the problems you’re facing.

You can create a separate account for various savings goals including occasional indulgences.

The purpose of having a healthy savings plan is not to always deny yourself the pleasure of having things. There are moments while you save for emergencies and retirement and give to others, you should also reward yourself.

Just break sure your break. . .doesn’t wreck your finances.

Excuse #5                Someone else will take care of it.

A spouse may take on a, “it’s not my responsibility” attitude toward savings. It is a partnership of using all money wisely.

A husband who brings home the bacon expects his wife to handle it responsibly.

Being on the same page financially helps him know she will not be spending money.

In the same way. . .a wife doesn’t want to be worried every time her husband leaves the house that he is going to get pulled into some money spending activity or get rich quick scheme.

It is a great thing at the end of the day to have a peaceful heart and home. . .especially, when it comes to money.

Excuse #6                God is my source

Yes He is, but be reminded it is He who gives you the power to gain wealth. He gives you the plan and you must work the plan.

To live without wisdom and forethought is not prudent planning. God’s Word is filled with promises that are usually followed by an IF indicating there are conditions to the promise. Are you in condition?

Spending is addictive, but saving can be too.

Once you stop making excuses, you'll start seeing your money add up. At that point, something interesting will happen. . .after a few months of seeing the difference. . .it becomes a game for the whole family!

If you sow excuses, regardless of how valid they may seem. . .you will never reap a harvest of financial blessings.

Sometimes excuses are made with the most absurd logic.

You’d be amazed at the number of believers who use if as excuse for a failure to plan or a failure to implement their plan.

Mark 9:23 in the Message Bible says:

“Jesus said, “If? There are no ‘ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen.”

Unfortunately, too many believers use “if” as an excuse.

Those who live by the excuse will ultimately fail by the excuse they’ve given.

“If I just knew what to do or how to do it; nothing comes easy; good things are hard to come by; you get what you paid for; you get out of it what you put in it; I knew something would come up; or something always happens to keep me from getting ahead.”

Let’s break down these excuses.

Nothing comes easy. . .if it did. . .everybody could and would be doing it.

Good things are hard to come by. . .if you’re expecting someone to just hand everything to you. . .without any effort on your part.

You get what you pay for. . .but most people aren’t willing to pay the price.

You get out of it what you put into it. . .that’s true. . .but God can multiply your efforts.

I knew something would come up. . .sounds like you put the welcome mat out for procrastination and trouble.

Something always happens to keep me from getting ahead. . .figure out what caused the stumbling block and deal with it.

I don’t know what to do. . .simply means, you’ve been asking the wrong person for help.

There should never be any “if’s” or excuses among believers.  If for no other reason than Mark 9:23.

The enemy uses excuses to prevent each of us from becoming the leader wants us to be.

Can we all agree that excuses are not of God? 

There comes a point in life when you become accountable for your own life. . . because you realize that your excuses don’t cut it anymore.

I believe this is that day. . .that point where you say “no more excuses.”

And the last thing I want to say is to the enemy, the devil, satan himself and it’s simply this…excuse my dust as I place my foot upon our head…the day of excuses is over.