Probably the most over used phrase in the American culture today is, "I'm so sorry." It is used by waitresses who don't get to your table right away, to clerks on the telephone who have to put you on hold. Now there is a legitimate use for the the words, "I am so sorry," when a real offense takes place. If you are late for an appointment, have bad behavior, or hurt someone's feelings, but the phrase is so overly used that it has lost its meaning. For the most part, today it is used only as an excuse. We use excuses for all kinds of things, and often it's because we don't want to take responsibility for our lazy or inattentive behavior. Most of the time, for example, I am late for an appointment because I didn't plan right. I was too busy doing whatever it was prior to the appointment to properly prepared for the meeting. There is no excuse for it, but I justify my behavior, by saying "I am so sorry." It eventually becomes a habit and my sorry really doesn't mean much, because I will be saying it again, the very next time I am late.
Some people use an excuse for everything. My favorite is: "it's not my fault." Some of the younger generation will use, "it's not my fault" for almost everything, because they don't want to be held accountable. Accountability is a good thing, because it is the time to search for the truth. Life can be filled with excuses, but in the end, excuses only means one will not deal with the truth.
God keeps the books on every person who has ever lived. He knows the deepest secrets, the motives, the lies, and the excuses, that we use in everyday life. Nothing escapes Him. We make more excuses to Him, than we do to anyone else. Sometimes, some of the biggest excuses we make is when we pray. We want God to do something for us, but we have no intention to make any changes. We want God to act, but we make excuses for our own lack of follow through. Change comes in anyone's life when the excuses stop, and the reality of accountability takes hold. Recently a family member did some work for a neighbor, and the work done was not specifically what the neighbor wanted. So, as a family, we worked together to make it right. Now, it would be easy to make excuses, for what happened, or we could just say "sorry" but the right thing to do, is to make it right. The Old Testament was strong on making it right, it is called "making restitution."
If a man borrows an animal from his neighbor and it is injured or dies, he must make restitution” (Exodus 22:1,3-6,14).
Leviticus 6:2-5 covers other situations in which stolen property is restored, plus one fifth of the value. Also of note in this passage, the restitution was made to the owner of the property (not to the government or any other third party), and the compensation was to be accompanied by a guilt offering to the Lord. The Mosaic Law, then, protected victims of theft, extortion, fraud, and negligence by requiring the offending parties to make restitution. The amount of remuneration varied anywhere from 100 to 500 percent of the loss. The restitution was to be made on the same day that the guilty one brought his sacrifice before the Lord, which implies that making amends with one’s neighbor is just as important as making peace with God.
Restitution is rarely preached any more in the church. As a young believer in the 70's it was one of those themes that was visited quite often, because it was taught that our relationship with the Lord, was reflected in how we treated others. The preachers back then didn't want their congregation to think it was okay to make excuses when you are in the wrong. Another great concept that was talked about back then was, "to keep our accountants short." In other words we don't allow excuses to build up so we would forget to make it right.
How about you today? Still making excuses for how you treat people, or see life? If you live in the mode of excuses, you will become a slave to them, and never break free. Excuses are a cowardly way to live life, because an excuse will not stand and take the responsibility it requires to be honest,and truthful, which is honoring to God.
I say we condemn excuses back to what they originate, with Satan, and his lying hordes.
Keeping it honest and truthful...K