How many times have you made excuses for not fulfilling your purpose in life? How many times did you justify your actions for postponing? Is it because you think you don’t have what it takes? I know I’ve done it many times.
Today’s nugget for discussion is nugget #16 as John L. Mason describes it in his book An Enemy Called Average.
The nugget he mentions is as follow: An alibi is just a lie.
- According to the Oxford dictionary an Alibi is a “plea that one was in another place at the time of an alleged act or crime…”. But for the purpose of this post, this is how John Mason used the word in his nugget. As normal, from here on forward I will just discuss the concept from my own point of view.)
There is no way we can argue with what John Mason says in his book; quitting, giving up, failing, judging – all these begin with an excuse. He goes further to point out that you should never allow an obstacle in your life to become an alibi – which is simply egotism turned the wrong side out.
What you’ll get from this article:
- Success Is Not A Dirty Word, Stop Using Religion As An Excuse
- Focus On the Positives in a Sea of Negativity
- Fear Is Not Necessary When You Have Trust
- An Alibi Is Just a Lie
- Stop Making Excuses and Be The Best You That You Can Be
It is amazing how we are always looking for excuses. And the cherry on top of this is the fact that we always think we know better. Deep inside ourselves we often know what we ought to be doing, or at least we have this urge to do something we feel we should be doing. Yet, we never respond to those feelings, because we just cannot see how we would be able to be successful at it. Or sometimes it just doesn’t seem to be worthwhile looking at it from a financial point of view. So, whatever we can come up with, we start making excuses as to why we just cannot do it.
Focus On the Positives in a Sea of Negativity
We seem to be relying so much on the economy of the world and our own abilities, that we forget that God – who has created us and knows us better that we know ourselves – is more than able to sustain us. We forget about Hebrews 13:5 that say “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Daily we are bombarded with bad news about recessions and depression due to the bad economy. Many sincere Christian people get filled with fear when listening to these news bulletins. Already living from pay check to pay check is hard enough as it is, and with these constant threats of the bad economy, it seems as if things can only get worse. They’ve lost their ability to dream as well. What is the sense of planning and believing for a bright future in these bad economic times?
Yet, if you look around you, there are always successful business people prospering all over the world. They live in nice houses and drive around in the best cars.
I can hear you say “yes, but we’ve just read in Hebrews 13:5 to keep our lives free from the love of money and be content with what we have”.
Exactly. God instructs us to keep ourselves free from the love of money. It is not the money that is evil. And being content with what you have, means that God will give you the means to be successful with the talents that you have and the wisdom that you can receive from Him. Do not miss the last part of the verse where God also promises to never leave you nor forsake you.
When somebody makes a promise to look after my well-being and to take good care of me, I expect good things to happen. I don’t expect to be left at the mercy of the world. How much more would I expect God to live up that promise? Why should I always accept second best, while God has promised to take good care of me?
What makes the difference is your attitude. Do you place your trust in riches or in God?
Read what happened to Solomon in 2 Chronicles 1:7-12: “7 That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
8 Solomon answered God, “You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. 9 Now, Lord God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10 Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
11 God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, 12 therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.”
This is the safe way: asking for wisdom and knowledge from God first, then riches.
We read in 1 Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs”. Again we see that it is the love of money which is the root of all kinds of evil. Money in itself is not evil. It is all about who is in possession of it and what it is applied for.
God would not have blessed Solomon with riches if it was evil. Neither would He have done it for Abraham (Genesis 13:2), Isaac (Genesis 26:13) or for Jacob (Genesis 30:43), just to name a few more examples.
Be content with what you have, asking God for wisdom in how to use it and multiply it. Then rely on God for receiving wisdom every day, irrespective of the economy of the world, to be successful. Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”.
Fear Is Not Necessary When You Have Trust
Mankind is supposed to rule on earth (Genesis 1:26), we are not supposed to be filled with fear. We are supposed to be responsible in handling our money and use it for good purpose. But we shouldn’t rely on money for our well-being; we should trust the living God. To be content with what we have (Hebrews 13:5), doesn’t mean we are allowed to only have a little of anything. Putting our trust in money creates the danger that our dreams, our need for well-being and happiness, become dependent on attaining lots of money. With God, our well-being is about much more than just money. It is about love, being healthy, being fulfilled and satisfied in every aspect. And yes, it might even include money as well. There is nothing wrong with having money, as long as money doesn’t have you.
To live by faith, doesn’t mean becoming irresponsible by making silly decisions about relying on God for provision. But God knows what your talents are. He will open doors for you and lead you to meet with the right people. Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.
So there is no reason not to be content with what you have, with that being the starting point. God has given you certain talents and abilities. You have all the reasons in the world to be content with what you have.
Proverbs 10:22 (NIV) says “The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it.” (It might be a good idea to read other translations as well, to get a more rounded understanding). This is how the same verse is translated in the King James Version; “The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it”.
An Alibi Is Just a Lie
We are all quick to make excuses when confronted with making choices. We need to understand when we are taking the soft option and be more honest with ourselves and others.
When confronted with a challenge, we go to the Bible to see how we should respond. Let’s look at two examples.
- In the book of Exodus we can see Moses trying every excuse in the book to avoid taking up the challenge. In Exodus 4:10-12 he came to the end of his excuses and decided to trust God; “10 Moses said to the Lord, “Lord, I am not a man of words. I have never been. Even now since You spoke to Your servant, I still am not. For I am slow in talking and it is difficult for me to speak.” 11 Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes a man not able to speak or hear? Who makes one blind or able to see? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 So go now. And I will be with your mouth. I will teach you what to say.”
- Gideon also argued with God in Judges 6:15-16 “15 Gideon said to Him, “O Lord, how can I save Israel? See, my family is the least in Manasseh. And I am the youngest in my father’s house.” 16 But the Lord said to him, “For sure I will be with you. You will destroy Midian as one man.”
In both these cases, these two men had their doubts and lacked the confidence in their own abilities. Yet, they both decided to stop making excuses and trust God, and both men were victorious.
Stop Making Excuses and Be The Best You That You Can Be.
Stop thinking of all the reasons why you can’t do what you know you’ve been called to do. I do not say you should ignore wise council and constructive criticism, but stop being overly concerned about other people’s opinions, or what people are going to say.
You’ll end up regretting what you have not done, rather than what you have tried at, and failed (and who knows how many successes you might have had).
God will not place a dream in your heart that you cannot achieve. So stop making excuses and resist fear because 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLV) says “For God did not give us a spirit of fear. He gave us a spirit of power and of love and of a good mind”.
- Start dreaming again – it is a God-given ability – and start working towards them.
- Are you constantly making excuses or shying away from what you believe you should be doing?
- What are your dreams? What do you believe your calling is and what is keeping you from it?
Let me know in the comment section below and let’s discuss it. I look forward to hearing from you.