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.
Believe me, I’ve heard all of the excuses … and some that would make you laugh if you didn’t know the person speaking the words was serious.
I believe if I set my mind to it…I could come up with some of the greatest excuses in the world.
But the real question is what does the greatest book ever written have to say about excuses.
Proverbs 24:11in 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.”
Luke14:18 in the Message Bible says:
"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.”
An excuse is a psychological defense mechanism in which there is an unconscious shift of emotions, affect, or desires from the original object to a more acceptable or immediate substitute.
Here are the top ten excuses God will never accept.
# 10 I grew up poor
Having money is not a result of your environment….there are far more millionaires who earned their money instead of inheriting it or winning it in the lottery and most all of them grew up poor.
Many people believe poverty and prosperity are determined by birth or luck.
The devil loves to continue the belief that some people are meant to be poor and others are meant to be rich down through generations.
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.
If we follow the principles that lead to poverty, 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 will tell us 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.
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 will result in wealth.
Poverty is a joint venture between us, Satan, and our 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 way over God’s Word.
Proverbs 11:24-25 says:
“There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.”
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 wordplouteō (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.
# 9 It seems like every time I think I’m getting ahead something happens
Have you been around people who entertain you (that sounds better than whine) with stories of the latest mishap, tragedy, calamity, problem or circumstance that has attacked them?
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.
And by all means. . .stopping looking back and rehashing what happened in the past.
Luke 9:62 in the Contemporary English Version says:
“Jesus answered, "Anyone who starts plowing and keeps looking back isn't worth a thing to God's kingdom!"
# 8 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 very quicky… it’s not one that I’ve ever experienced…
I had a lady tell me once that I didn’t understand what it was like to be a single parent and a black woman.
Well …it’s true… I’m not either….
But here’s what I asked….
So with your schedule, how much time did you spend watching television last week?
How much time you spend on the net browsing through eHarmony or Match.com?
Could you have spent that time reading a book, or studying something that would increase your value to your employer or yourself?
Could you have spent that time learning some marketable skill or developing a Home-based business?
We all think we work hard and no doubt we do...and there just isn’t any time for anything else. But it's there if we really want to find it.
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 is necessary to change the direction of your life.
You have to understand the need for displacement….
Displacetelevision with reading, listening, watching and learning things that will change the direction of your life.
Let me be frank and say, the only way that I’ll ever buy an excuse of how busy you are is if you can show me a log of how you spent your time during the past two weeks…divided into 15 minute segments.
Here’s the bottom line…you can overcome any adversity if you want to.
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.`”
# 7 I’m not good with math
First thing you need to do is stop saying that….
My father, whom I refer to a lot, ran a business for 54 years with only a fifth-grade education. Years ago, a friend of his who had a country store and I'm not talking about a store like Cracker Barrel ... I mean one that's 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 was not holding a real 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)….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 all you need to know about math.
You don’t need to know advance algebra, trigonometry, calculus or any advanced math to be debt free/successful and wealthy…you need common sense a whole lot more than advanced math.
Here’s all you need to know…
Write down how much you make and then below it write how much you spend and if the number on the bottom is larger than the number on the top then you’ve got problems….
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 to seek it.
# 6 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 Bible is a book of absolutes. The promises and principles of God are not conditional. . .based on your circumstances and situations.
Here is an absolute. . .
If you sow. . .you will reap.
Conversely, if you don’t sow. . .you won’t 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.”
# 5 It’s the credit card company’s fault
Now this excuse is dumber than cat hair….no disrespect intended to our feline friends or those who own them…
I had someone tell me once that they were on the verge of bankruptcy and it was the credit card company's fault. They kept sending all those pre-approved applications and she felt like they wanted her to keep charging. PLEASE!
That’s like the father who called his daughter at college…and asked why she was bouncing checks ….she said, Daddy, the bank made a mistake, there has to be money in my account because I haven’t used all my checks yet.
Here’s a revelation….credit card companies are not the blame for your problem. You are….don’t open the envelope…shred it and throw it away….better still go to haroldherring.com and under Free Resources and click on the link for optoutprescreen.com and stop those credit card applications from coming into your house…remove the temptation.
Yes, but Brother Harold, I spent that money to live on, it was charged because of an emergency or this or that. Stop It…if you learn to live by and with excuses then you’re destined to live your life that way….going from one crisis to the next.
The reason you don’t have money for emergencies is because of choices you’ve made.
Proverbs 21:20 TLB
“The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.”
# 4 I know God told me to do this
Now I want to be very clear on this….God gets a lot of credit for things He’d have nothing to do with.
For instance, the lady at a meeting I held in Atlanta said God told her and her husband they were to buy this $400,000 house when in fact their income level wouldn’t support a $100,000 house. Plus he was an accountant who was almost legally blind and they didn’t have a huge bank account or investment portfolio. He was dead within 18 months and she longer has the house.
I believe with all my heart that you should seek the Lord for the direction in your life and the way you should go. He will direct you but He needs to be the one doing the directing…not what you want but what He wants and He doesn’t want you in debt up to your eyeballs with no way out.
Romans 3:19 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that [the murmurs and excuses of] every mouth may be hushed and all the world may be held accountable to God.”
I know of another person who sold his lawn care business because God told him to…sold his home…paid off his father and father-in-law the debts he owed…moved in with the in-laws but wouldn’t get a job because God told him to just spend time seeking Him.
His car was repoed…his wife’s car was repoed…the in-laws asked them to move out…then he showed up at his father’s house wanting to live with them….everything in a UHaul that the father-in-law had paid for…still wouldn’t work because God told him not to.
This is a two year story….and the man is 40 years old…
Ephesians 5:6-7 in the Message Bible says
“Don't let yourselves get taken in by religious smooth talk. God gets furious with people who are full of religious sales talk but want nothing to do with him. Don't even hang around people like that.”
The scripture is clear….you don’t work, you don’t eat…if you don’t provide for your family then you’re worse than an infidel.
# 3 My boss/supervisor doesn’t understand or appreciate me
The question you have to ask is why they don’t appreciate you?
Is it because of your work ethic? Are you stealing time and productivity from them?
Do you do just enough to get by?
Or is there enthusiasm in your job performance?
Have you asked how you can become a more effective employee?
Have you spent as much time praying for them as you do complaining about them to others?
Who do you really work for? Where is your real focus?
Psalm 75:6 in the Message Bible:
“For promotion and power come from nowhere on earth, but only from God. . .”
# 2 I don’t have the education
Truthfully, that’s probably to your advantage….there are way too many people who are educated beyond their intelligence….
If education were the sole criteria for being debt free/successful and wealthy then only PHDs and highly educated people would be millionaires and billionaires….but that’s not the case. Highly motivated people are the successful ones.
Bill Gates and Michael Dell did not graduate from college….Sean Hannity graduated from high school….JC Penny was told that he’d never make it through grade school…I could go and on with the list…
Not having an education is just an excuse…it’s the same as saying, I never had an opportunity… well ... create your own.
Robert Kioyoski points out there are many ways to be successful that don't require a college education in his book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad. He was not against it but he makes the point that there are many more important aspects to success than higher education.
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
Boo…hoo. Whose report are you going to believe? Get over those who don’t know God’s Word. That might mean your boss and friends but it could even mean your mom or dad or even a spouse if any of them they have put you down. God believes in you. He sent His only begotten Son to die for you.
It can be painful when someone close to you tells you negatives things but that doesn’t make them right. God is the only one who is always right.
The excuse that your parents/grandparents or guardians didn’t believe in you will last only until you get old enough to think and make conscious decisions for yourself.
When you’re old enough to recognize and honor Jesus as the Lord of your life.
When you’re old enough to read the Word of God and see the promises that He’s made to you.
When you’re old enough to understand that His Word says there is nothing too difficult or impossible to those who believe.
When you’re old enough to know that if God is on your side, who can be against you?
When you’re old enough to read of others who’ve overcome even greater adversity than you have. . .
When you’re old enough to know that on Judgement Day, nobody else but you will be held responsible for your actions….then you’ll know that the excuse that nobody ever believed in you will crash and burn before it hits the end of the street you live on.
1 John 2:28in 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.”
I could go on and on with the excuses that I’ve heard like…maybe I’ll write a book called the Excuses That God Hates.
As long as our mind is focused on who to blame, we will never stop long enough to figure out where the solution lies.
How do you break out of the negative/excuse making/victim existing cycle…with displacement.
You start with all the negative programming that’s filling your mind with the wrong stuff…
Are you ready for this? Stop watching the late night news.
Do you really believe it’s important to know how many houses or businesses burned down over night?
Do you think you need to know how many people were killed or cars were stolen last night?
Do you want to know which local official spent too much money on some convention they attended?
Especially when you then go to bed and expect to have a good night's sleep.
If you eliminate the news, you will be eliminating a major source of negativity in your life. Pray for the candidates instead. Pray that ALL the truth comes out so it is obvious who to vote for.
So what do you displace that negativity with?
First, the Word of God.
Second, I strongly recommend that you spend thirty minutes a day in daily self improvement time. I suggest you do so first thing in the morning. You will be displacing any and all negativity before you hit the highway and enter your workplace environment.
Then I suggest at night, before you retire, that you read something that stirs your faith and inner creativity.
It’s not enough to displace the negative. You have to fill the vacuum with something positive.
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