November 16, 2009

What's Your Excuse?

I am reading through Matthew. I got to chapter 8 last week, and read the story of the man who wanted to follow Jesus:

19 And a scribe came up and said to him, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go." 20 And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." 21 Another of the disciples said to him, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father." 22 And Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead." - Matthew 8:19-22

At first glance, Jesus sounds like a cold, mean grouch when he tells this man to leave the dead to bury their own dead. But take a moment, let's really try to figure out what's going on here. The first man said he wanted to follow Jesus. Jesus took one look at him and said "Listen, I'm homeless, I don't own a thing. I don't know where I'm sleeping tonight, and I don't where my next meal is coming from." In other words, you need to make sure you know what you're getting into here.

The next man jumps up and says "Pick me! Pick me! I'll follow you! But first, I have to go and take care of my dad. You see, he's getting up there in age, and in the next several years he might die. So I need to take care of the family business until then. But when he's gone, I will follow you!" Jesus was not impressed, at all. Jesus looked him in the eyes and said: "Follow me, and let the dead and dying take care of themselves."

Everyone of us is full of excuses for not doing what we know we should do. We are experts at avoiding obedience. We know deep down when we should say something, do something, but for some reason we come up with our list of logical reasons why we should run the other way.

What is God telling you to do? Are you avoiding His call? I'm not talking about a career change, I'm talking about right now. Is there someone you need to reconcile with? Is there someone you need to forgive? Do you owe someone an apology? Or is there something else? The big question is "What's your excuse?" You know what you are supposed to do, quit making excuses, quit finding your own logical reasons for avoiding whatever it is God is calling you to do right now. Don't waste another minute! Obey today!

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