It only took a second. I was so diligent and paying close attention. But it happened in a split second. It wasn’t life-shattering and no one was hurt, but I screwed up. And…right in front of my daughter. Fabulous example I am. Then, while taking responsibility, a little tiny excuse escaped my lips. Really? I couldn’t just fess up and own it; no! I had to slip in a subtle excuse. Why?
Retelling the tale to my husband, before my mind could stop my mouth, another little excuse rolled off my tongue. Knowing my mistake would disappoint my husband, I blurted an if only excuse to ease my pain. The disappointment in my actions was palpable. The kicker was, he was more upset about the excuse than the mistake!
When I mess up, fall down or make a mistake, why do I try to justify it with some sort of excuse? It’s the opposite of what I want. I truly strive to be the person who not only owns up to mistakes but learns and grows from them. But no. So often, tiny if only excuses rise in my subconscious and burst out my mouth. I try to justify where there’s no justification. I try to show others why I did what I did. It doesn’t matter and doesn’t help. I know, they know and God knows-I messed up.
Ironically, this is the one thing that really gets my blood boiling: lack of personal responsibility. We repeat this to our children: take responsibility for yourself-mistakes and all. To me, making an excuse is almost worse than the mistake! But here I am throwing out excuses to break my fall.
Then ever so gently, a verse about discipline shows up in my inbox. Right after my mistake, I saw the verse. It was like God was right there speaking to me.
No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. ~Hebrews 12:11
Think about it: Just as a parent disciplines a child, the Lord your God disciplines you for your own good. ~Deuteronomy 8:5
You see, I’ve made this mistake before. I should know better. Hello! Maybe God is trying to tell me something? No one likes discipline, especially in the presence of a loved one.
So I turned the mistake into a life lesson with a ‘learn from my mistake and don’t do this yourself’ speech to my kids. While it may have helped the kids, it didn’t help me. I knew I messed up. Not only did I make a mistake, I tried to excuse it.
God spoke through His Word in that moment providing the discipline I needed. I prayed. Not only did I ask God for better self-control but I confessed my habit of excuses. He obviously knew what I did, but my repentance and His forgiveness lightened my heart. Why was this not my first response?
God’s discipline is not only for our own good, it leads to the peaceful right living He wants for us.[tweetthis]God’s discipline leads to peaceful, right living as we follow Him #soul #wellness[/tweetthis]
Will I make more mistakes? Absolutely! Will my children see more of them? Definitely. But what I pray for most urgently is what comes next. Is it an excuse? A speech? Or is it a humble confession and prayer for forgiveness that comes next?
I pray next time I fall, my next act is to fall on my knees in confession. Not blurting out a sly excuse. Or a speech to make me feel better. I pray I will be aware, confess and seek His grace again and again as I follow His footprints. Only then will I truly learn and grow from my future mistakes. And maybe, just maybe, a little of God’s light will slip out, instead of an excuse.
Linking up with Suzie Eller at #liveFree, Susan Mead at #DanceWithJesus, Dawn Klinge at #GraceandTruth, Holly Barrett at #TestimonyTuesday, Holley Gerth at #CoffeeForYourHeart, Jaime Wiebel at #SittingAmongFriends and Katie Reid at #RaRaLinkup
18 thoughts on “No More Excuses!”
This is so good! Thank you for sharing so vulnerably! #livefreeThursday
Thanks Crystal! I pray it will help someone else as it helped me to write about it! Thanks for stopping by and commenting (you’re my 200th comment on my 100th post!) And the tweet-thanks!! Love to #livefree!
Jill, Elisabeth Elliot used to say, “Delayed obedience is disobedience.” I remember this when I excuse myself for sin or tolerate some bad habit in my life with a welcoming smile to being Less-than-what-God-wants.
Thanks for these strong and gritty words!
Love that quote, Michele-thanks! None of us is perfect just trying to be more like Jesus everyday. Remembering it’s a journey, not a sprint and coming before Him with a sincere, repentant heart always helps. Thanks for your comments-have a blessed weekend, following in obedience!
You’re right, it’s hard to own up to our mistakes and I’m good at making excuses, too. Drives my husband crazy. Falling on our knees in prayer is a great way to start, and continue, and continue.
So true, let’s continue and continue to seek Him in forgiveness as we follow! Thanks Rachel!
Really enjoyed this, Jill! I work with special needs kids who have a way of living more transparently than most of us. One of the boys discovered an excuse today that people reacted to as he liked…and was soon acting out regularly and then not so subtly justifying his behavior by immediately giving the excuse to “get away with it.” Spent plenty of time today working with him on not using excuses. Always convicting- because like you here, teaching this important principle makes me more aware of the excuses I try to make (or do make!) NO more excuses! Joining you in this effort and grateful for the Lord’s help!
THank Bethany! Thanks for joining the ‘no more excuses’ bandwagon! We’ll hopefully give and receive lots of grace on this one from each other and the Lord! Always a pleasure to have you stop by!
Ah, it’s so hard to not make those little excuses. It takes a lot of self-discipline and prayer to get rid of that habit (and the knowledge that God and others will love us DESPITE the mistakes we make).
Yes, so true Anita! It takes lots of prayer, awareness and self-discipline. It’s amazing how once we tune in, we see them all over the place. Here’s to no more excuses and loving others! Thanks for stopping by and your thoughts!
Jill, I know what you mean. I tend to try to justify myself too when I make mistakes. It’s our human nature, but oh it does keep us from growing! Thanks for sharing.
It does keep us from growing, Betsy! When I make excuses, I’m only hurting myself. Good point and thanks for stopping by-always a pleasure to have you!
It’s so easy to make excuses isn’t it? I do it far too often. Thanks for linking up this post to the #RaRaLinkup 🙂
My pleasure, Katie! Here’s to no more excuses as we cheer each other on! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
Jill, thanks for so openly sharing your heart. Boy, do I have a barrel of excuses… for when I mess up or when I fail to do what I ought to do. I’m tired of making excuses, but I’m so grateful to God for His patience as I learn not to. May we continually point others to God and His mercy in the middle of our messes.
Absolutely Carlie-if pointing out my mistakes can point someone to God, amen! God is good and mercy endures forever! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
We are all humans and sinners. We do not want to be guilty but we already are and that’s why Jesus died for our sins. If we could only have a pause button to stop things so we could think first but the mouth beats us to it!! Ugh!!
Yes, it does too often, Tammy! Here’s to finding the pause button to think of what Jesus would do before we make our excuses! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!