Every day we are given the choice to follow God faithfully or to ignore our call to follow. Our response to this daily decision is of the utmost importance. With every major decision, we are presented with many excuses as to why we don’t do things. Just like with other areas in our life, we can make excuses as to why we won’t follow God on a daily basis.
I want to map out three major areas that we often use to make excuses.
It never fails that every time we try to make progress in our lives, we are met with the reminder of some past mistake. We start to remember some terrible mistake we made whether it was something we said, something we did, or maybe a relationship that went south. None of us are perfect, which means we all have some shortcomings in our past that can sneak up on us and remind us of the person we tried to leave behind.
If we are not careful, we can let the mistakes of our past hinder our decision to follow God faithfully today. The ridiculous part of us letting past mistakes hinder us from following God today is that God knows the mistakes of our past and still loves us. It’s not God that is holding our past mistakes against us, it’s us. When you have placed your faith in Jesus, you are forgiven. God no longer sees you as the mistakes of your past. Why then do we let this be such a hindrance to our daily growth?
I think it’s either the fear of people seeing the “real” me or the old me showing back up. Regardless of our past mistakes, we must not let them hinder our growth today.
Our past mistakes are not the only thing from our past that tries to keep us from following God faithfully today. In fact, our past victories can also serve as an excuse to not follow God faithfully today.
I am currently on staff at a church as student pastor. Every year we take students to summer camp. We see students experience life change. One of the down sides to taking students to summer camp comes later in the year when things are not going as well spiritually. They can remember the spiritual victory from camp, and it reminds them that they are not doing as well as they once were. They look back and ask things like, “Why am I not as excited about my relationship with God?”
Their past victory slowly becomes their current obstacle.
This can happen to all of us. We can look back on past victories and get sad because we are not doing as well as we once were. Have you ever been there? I have.
We can truly allow our past mistakes and past victories hinder us from making progress today. They become easy excuses for us to not take steps forward.
It’s not just the past that we use for excuses, it’s the present as well. I really struggle with using my current fears, insecurities, and struggles as excuses to not follow God faithfully. If we all have gifts, mine is certainly using these things as excuses.
I am not sure what you are scared of when it pertains to your daily decision to follow God. I think a lot of people understand being scared to take steps in our faith because of what people will say or think about us. We can use the fear of rejection as an excuse to not do anything. This is simply a bad excuse. When will we realize that rejection is inevitable? Every person at some point in their life will experience someone disapproving of their beliefs, actions, or decisions. Why then do we use this as an excuse?
I think we spend so much time thinking about the rejection of people when we should be focused on the fact that we are loved, accepted, and important to God.
Along with letting current fears keep us from progress, we also allow our insecurities to get in the way of our daily call to follow God. The negative view of ourselves that we see in the mirror gets in the way of our desire to follow God.
I can tell you that I struggle with feeling insecure. I often times feel like I am not good enough to be loved or used by God. I really struggle to believe that God could love someone like me. Why? Because I don’t love the person that I see in the mirror. These insecurities become loud voices in our heads, telling us that we are not good enough to follow God faithfully today.
I may think that I am unlovable, but that does not change the reality that God loves me. God loves me, and God loves you. Period.
Not only do we let fear and insecurity stop us from growing spiritually, we also let our current struggles keep us from following God faithfully every day. We say things like, “I will follow God when I get past this struggle.” We act as if God will somehow desire to use us more when we get “better”.
God desires for us to follow Him, regardless of current struggles. We must remember that God is the One who can help us in our struggle. Why try to hide it?
Our present fears, insecurities, and struggles can be easy excuses to not follow God faithfully.
It’s not just the past and the present that we use for excuses, it’s the future as well. We can be so terrified of what the future holds that it causes us to stand still and not want to do anything.
I think the two most common excuses we use about the future is our fear of the unknown and our fear of failure.
I sometimes find myself playing the “what if” game. Have you ever played?
“What if they don’t like me?”
“What if this decision cost me my friends?”
“What if it doesn’t work out like I think it will?”
We could go on and on. I think we can honestly say that the fear of the unknown cripples us. We can spend so much time worried about the future that it scares us to take any steps forward. This is one of the greatest displays of a deep trust issue we have with God. In moments of fear, are we trusting God? We as believers must fight to trust God with our future.
Along with fear of the unknown, we can become overwhelmed with the fear of failing. Have you ever been there? I get so scared of failing God that I would rather sit still and do nothing. I let the fear of failure stop me from trying.
The surest way to never grow in your faith is for you to never try. The greatest temptation that we will face as believers is the temptation to not try in our faith. The fear of the unknown and the fear of failure can result in believers not fighting to follow God faithfully today.
Some Closing Thoughts
The excuses we use, whether from our past, present, or future, may sound good, but they are weak. Using these excuses will not make you feel better, nor will they result in you growing spiritually. I hope that we would all fight to throw our excuses in the trash and pursue God with our entire heart.
God desires to know you and use you. Will you follow Him today or will you waste another day making excuses?
Let’s take a step forward today.