Even before the coronavirus shutdown it was easy to get into our comfort zone and like it.
Now, so many who get out just want to get back to the comfort of their own home at night and not leave until they have to.
I can relate…however, as Christians we are called to make a difference not make excuses.
Hebrews 12:12-13 in the Message Bible says:
“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!”
I started wondering why people sit on their hands and drag their feet….and realized it happens when people make excuses.
But don’t take my word for it ... what does the greatest book ever written have to say about excuses?
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.”
When the master in Luke 14 chapter called people to a wedding feast, it says in verse18 in the Message Bible:
"Then they all began to beg off, one after another making excuses. The first said, 'I bought a piece of property and need to look it over. Send my regrets.'
2 Thessalonians 3:10-13 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.”
What will the Lord find us doing when He returns?
Isn’t He the one who called us to thrive … not just survive!
Here are nine excuses that won’t impress God.
# 9 I grew up poor
Having money is not a result of your environment … there are far more millionaires who come from poverty backgrounds than those who didn’t. It is probably because they purposed in their minds and hearts that they would never live like that.
Other people often accept the belief that poverty and prosperity are determined by birth or luck.
The devil loves to continue those beliefs so down through generations, the excuses began to accumulate as to why they were meant to be poor and others were meant to be rich.
That is not what the Word of God says.
God established certain principles of economics that govern who will be rich and who will be poor, and He will not violate His own laws no matter how much He loves you.
If we follow the poverty principles, we will be poor.
We play an important part in determining our own financial situations.
Satan does his part, too. He will lie to us in every imaginable way to keep us poor. He’s behind many myths about money.
He will say that money is evil or that money will corrupt you. He might even suggest that it is godly to be poor or that you will become even poorer if you give to God.
If you buy into that as an excuse … why bother to do better…
It makes you the loser and the enemy becomes the winner.
You see, poverty is a partnership.
The devil wants us to be poor, and he will lie to us to keep us from following the biblical principles that result in wealth. He’ll tell you that it may work for some people but it won’t work for you.
Poverty is a joint venture between people, Satan, and ignorance of God’s Word.
God’s law of prosperity says if you are a liberal giver, your money will increase. The world system doesn’t teach that and many believers actually choose the world’s view over God’s Word. Why? Because they are more familiar with the world’s ways.
Proverbs 11:24-25 in the New Living Translation says:
“Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything.
The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.”
The God-kind of prosperity is based upon giving. When you operate God’s law in your life, you will begin to experience ever-increasing abundance.
One more thing.
The King James Version of 2 Corinthians 8:9 says:
“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”
There are two different but closely related Greek words for rich in this verse.
When the verse says “…though he was rich…” that particular Greek word is plousios (G4145) which means:
“wealthy, abounding in material resources”
The second reference to rich is when the scripture says: “…that ye through his poverty might be rich.”
This is the Greek word plouteō (G4147) which means:
“to be rich, to have abundance; of outward possessions; to be richly supplied; is affluent in resources so that he can give blessings of salvation to all.”
The Amplified Bible translation of 2 Corinthians 8:9 says:
“For you are becoming progressively acquainted with and recognizing more strongly and clearly the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (His kindness, His gracious generosity, His undeserved favor and spiritual blessing), [in] that though He was [so very] rich, yet for your sakes He became [so very] poor, in order that by His poverty you might become enriched (abundantly supplied).”
Why does God want you blessed and abundantly supplied?
He wants you blessed to be a blessing ... and you can't be a blessing if you can barely make it yourself.
# 8 It seems like every time I think I’m getting ahead something happens
It is an absolute fact that you can’t be a victim and move forward in life.
If your self-image is of someone who is being continually victimized and that’s what you confirm to people around you, and it will result in becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.
You will repel love, defer happiness, attract illness or injuries, sabotage any financial or business success.
You will be attracting like things into your life…every time you use these excuses…
YOU HAVE A CHOICE IN LIFE to be a victim or a victor….but you can’t be both.
I remember an incident at International Faith Center, pastored by our mentor John Avanzini’s wife, Patricia. Brother John was a pioneer in bringing God’s financial principles of success to an impoverished church so we as the Body of Christ could be a blessing to others.
A couple from CA was giving their testimony on stage about the immense wealth that had opened up to them while living in CA … and it was immense. As they described it, I was among the choir behind them when I sensed an oppressive spirit of jealousy coming over the entire room.
I look back now and I can’t believe I was so bold but it was like the Holy Spirit began to open up insight to me to the extent that I got out of the choir and walked to the platform as they were finishing. I believe Sister Pat had come up. I told her the situation and she gave me the microphone.
I told the congregation that if they accepted the spirit of jealousy that was invading the room, they would never arrive at any level of financial success themselves because a person can never achieve what they are jealous of or resent another for having.
True riches have to be founded in God. Proverbs 10:22 in the Classic Amplified Bibles says:
“The blessing of the Lord—it makes [truly] rich, and He adds no sorrow with it [neither does toiling increase it].”
# 7 I’m a single parent, it takes all I’ve got to work, get home, fix dinner, spend a few minutes with the kids and get some sleep
This is a tough situation and I’ll tell you honestly … it’s not one that I’ve ever experienced so I’m certainly no expert.
We all think we work hard and no doubt we do...and sometimes it seems there isn’t any time for anything else.
And everyone does need to take some time for themselves.
But one thing I encourage you to do above all else. Do not skip the time you have with the Lord. He knows what you face, and you need to ask Him to help you make the very most of every moment you have.
You can also worship in the car. No matter the ages of your children, I often remember cranking up the cassettes, yes, the old cassettes of praise and worship and the kids and I would get down with the praise on the way to school. After you drop them off, then put on some preaching that inspires you for the rest of your trip to work.
Albert Einstein said:
“If you feed your mind as often as you feed your stomach, then you’ll never have to worry about feeding your stomach or a roof over your head or clothes on your back.”
It takes more than hard work to get ahead and be successful...debt free and wealthy. It takes a willingness to do whatever God says is necessary to change the direction of your life.
It may not be overnight or next week or even next year… but through faithfulness … you can overcome any adversity when you put God first.
Here are two powerful scriptures to help:
Mark 9:23 in GOD’S WORD Translation says:
“Jesus said to him, `As far as possibilities go, everything is possible for the person who believes.`”
And in Psalm 75:6,7 in the New King James Version it says…
“For exaltation comes neither from the east Nor from the west nor from the south.
But God is the Judge: He puts down one, And exalts another.”
Now let me give you a scripture that literally kept me alive in a very desperate work situation. It comes from Psalm 119:92:
“Unless Your law had been my delight I would have perished in my affliction.”
I actually thought I might a time or two.
# 6 I’m not good with math
First thing … never say that again.
My father-in-law had to drop out of school after 5th grade because he was the first of many siblings and had to help on the farm. But he, along with my mother-in-law who graduated from high school, ran a very successful business for 54 years.
Somewhere during that time, as my husband, Harold, likes to tell, an old gentleman came by to talk to Dad.
He, too, ran a store way out in the country with not too much else around.
My Dad’s friend said to him.
“I got a problem with my books.”
Dad’s friend didn’t have a ledger, but a spiral notebook that was tattered and worn. On the left hand pages he had listed each day of the week except Sunday (he was closed on Sundays) and at the top of the page it said, “Tuck In” and on the right hand side of the page, it had the corresponding dates and at the top of the page he had written “Tuck Out.”
The gentleman said to my Dad: “I think, I’ve got a problem because I’ve tuck out more than I’ve tuck in.”
Truthfully, that’s says a lot about what you need to know about math. It’s called common sense. And it boils down to this:
If your business or family isn’t taking in more money than you’re putting out, you need to rethink your figuring!
1 Corinthians 2:16 AMP
“For who has known or understood the mind (the counsels and purposes) of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge? But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart.”
God's wisdom is available if we want to dedicate ourselves enough to seek it.
# 5 I have nothing to sow
If you say you have nothing to sow. . .you won’t.
If you say you’re on a fixed income. . .you are.
If you say. . .you sow and sow but never receive a harvest. . .you never will.
The promises and principles of God are not conditional. . .based on our circumstances and situations.
The Bible says . . .
If you sow. . .you will reap.
Conversely, if you don’t sow. . .you have nothing to reap.
And what you sow. . .that is what you reap.
2 Corinthians 9:6 in the Amplified Bible says:
“[Remember] this: he who sows sparingly and grudgingly will also reap sparingly and grudgingly, and he who sows generously [that blessings may come to someone] will also reap generously and with blessings.”
Simply said, the proportion with which you sow. . .is the proportion to which you will reap.
The Living Bible Translation of 2 Corinthians 9:6 says:
“But remember this—if you give little, you will get little. A farmer who plants just a few seeds will get only a small crop, but if he plants much, he will reap much.”
God loves you no matter what but He will honor His principles and still love but you won’t get what you don’t do.
# 4 It’s the credit card company’s fault
It is fact that credit card rules can be devious, and they don’t play in your favor, but they also didn’t make you sign on the dotted line.
Credit Cards are not for emergencies. An emergency fund is for emergencies.
And a lot of emergencies are not really an emergency. You may be having trouble with the old clunker, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have a new car with a lot of payments.
Proverbs 21:20 TLB
“The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.”
# 3 My boss/supervisor doesn’t understand or appreciate me
This may seem like a strange statement, but your success doesn’t really depend on your boss or supervisor anyway. It depends on you.
I referred to my unfortunate work experience in #5 but I want to share some of things the Lord required of me when He was teaching me His requirements in addition to any rules my employment required.
First, I was to never be late … not even a minute. Better yet, I could be early and not even get paid for it.
Second, when I was not happy with my situation, I would get down on my knees, yes, my knees by the side of my bed and He led me in prayer.
-I would ask the Lord to help me not hold anything against my boss no matter whether he was right or wrong. I did this a lot! Usually every morning before I left for work.
-I would ask God that if he confronted me to please give me the words to say to him.
-I would ask the Lord to help me put forth my every effort in excellence. I was to do my work to please Him and not my boss.
-I was to obey rules to the letter. That meant my 15-minute break was not a second over 15 minutes.
-When I was asked to do something that was not required of my position or was a particularly difficult thing to be accomplished, I was to do it with joy. God often showed me how to get the job done without so much hassle. And I can honestly remember singing hymns and songs of praise as I worked. O, God can be good if you let me show you how.
-And … I was not to complain to anyone but God.
Once when I was desperate to escape to another job … I mean desperate … God said NO. I came across the following scripture and I’m sure the Holy Spirit led me to it.
I John 5:3 says:
“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”
I said, “God, working at this place is tremendously grievous…beyond what I can humanly bear and if you want me to be here, you will have to take this grief away so I can obey you as this scripture says can be done.”
It was not long before I began feeling a love for the place I worked. So much so that I thought to myself, “You have got to be kidding!!” I felt such an overwhelming heart for this place. I knew exactly where it came from.
I wasn’t always perfect, but I repented immediately when I messed up. I learned where to put my focus and it paid off in a large way.
Who do you really work for? Where is your real focus?
Is it easy? Heavens no! I never want to go through that again, but I’m convinced that if I had not learned those hard lessons I would never be where I am today.
Remember Psalm 75:6-7? In the Message Bible it reads this way:
“For promotion and power come from nowhere on earth, but only from God. . .”
# 2 I don’t have the education
Truthfully, I think sometimes that’s to your advantage.
Certain professions require certain information …
Electricians need a working knowledge of electricity.
Doctors and nurses need medical knowledge.
And there are times it opens the door into certain professions but not so much any more.
Often educational system rob teachers from being able to encourage their students to think in ways that will allow them to compete. Too many systems stunt instead of encourage growth.
Bill Gates and Michael Dell did not graduate from college….Sean Hannity didn’t either ….JC Penny was told that he’d never make it through grade school…Henry Ford dropped out after the 8th grade.
It’s not your education but your attitude that allows you to succeed. God made sure of that.
I’m also not telling you that you shouldn’t get an education, but I am saying that not having one does not destine you to a life of lack and mediocrity.
James 1:5 in The Living Bible says:
“If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and he will gladly tell you, for he is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask him; he will not resent it.”
# 1 Nobody ever believed in me
Many, many people struggle because of previous mindsets that were instilled in them as children or because of unfortunate events.
However, once you realize that the God of the universe is on your side, it’s time to begin the renovation process.
That means taking out the old mindset and replacing it with the new from the Word of God.
Anyone who stands between you and God’s Word is closer to you than God.
Don’t let that happen.
You can win this.
Believe the Holy Spirit will guide you to the right scriptures to claim and then confess them daily.
And then don’t ever give up! Every day you work your plan, you will get closer to the goal.
Learn to make your own decisions and not be thrown about by other’s negative opinions. They are opinions… God’s Word is truth.
1 John 2:28 in the Message Bible says:
“[Live Deeply in Christ ] And now, children, stay with Christ. Live deeply in Christ. Then we'll be ready for him when he appears, ready to receive him with open arms, with no cause for red-faced guilt or lame excuses when he arrives.”
Bottom line...you are the only one who decides whether you are going to be a victor or a victim.
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