No More Excuses Please!

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Let’s stop making excuses for each other.

I am referring to how Christians sometimes relate to each other in regards to those often unintentional and little sins that hurt feelings. The excuses seem reasonable. “They have a lot going on in their life right now.” “But, they have a good heart.” “You know that they didn’t mean anything by it.”

As Christians, we often equate forgiveness with a do-over, where we just move on and forget the ugliness. And, yes, there are those times where we simply let love cover over a multitude of sins. But there are also many times when God intends a lesson for us as a family of believers by owning up to the ugliness.

I lost my best friend through a missed opportunity and a lesson left unsaid. I made a comment that upset my friend. We had been friends for years and shared our deepest thoughts as we navigated the parenting of teenagers. I was clueless to the effect of my words, but she wasn’t. And yet, she said nothing to me. By the time I figured it out, there was a palpable difference in our relationship. I verbally apologized. I formally apologized with a handwritten card, but it was all to no avail.

Years later, that loss of friendship is still one of my bigger regrets and one of the most important lessons that I learned. The comment I made reflected an attitude of sin that needed to be dealt with at the time the words rolled off my tongue. I wish my friend would have found the boldness to correct me. I would have learned the lesson much sooner. I would have matured in my faith more gracefully without the collateral damage. And I’m sure we would still be friends today.

Sin is always sin, whether it is accidental or minor in the big picture of the fallen world. Sin of any magnitude can have lasting ramifications. Let’s stop making excuses for one another. Instead, in Christ’s love, let’s spur each other on to the next level of mature faith by calling any type of sin what it really is: ugly and hurtful.

 

 Galatians 6:1

Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.

 

Hebrews 10:24

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.

 

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9 thoughts on “No More Excuses Please!

  1. Such a good and timely word. Restoring one another gently is a fine art. I love my friends who hold me to a higher standard. Thanks for sharing your personal illustration. I’ve lost friendships, too (who hasn’t)? Oh yeah, the NICE ppl! LOL

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  2. Wow, Debbie. So much food for thought here. I think of my own careless tongue at times, and have to wonder about hurts and sins I have committed. I do have to wonder, however, why the friend wasn’t forgiving. Seems such a sad ending to what could still be a wonderful friendship.

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    • Donna… I don’t have an answer to why she wouldn’t forgive me. I guess I had crossed a line with her. Thank God that Jesus erases all “the lines” and replaces them with the cross. I am forgiven when I come to Him in repentance. Now that’s the happy ending we all can have! 🙂

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  3. Let’s be sure first what we are calling sin Debbie, they are not weaknesses and shortcomings, they are what God calls sin and that is anything motivated by the Carnal flesh which is in disobedience to God’s guidelines and they are all about His Love but not saccharine sweet worldly love, real Love that comes from Faith in our God of Love, who tells us that He does not afflict willingly nor grieve the Children of men which is all of us – Lamentations 3: 33

    It was your friend not you Debbie who was in error, as we see confirmed in the Scripture below, silence is not always golden, it can hold bitterness and resentment.

    Luke 17:3-5 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.

    One thing that as been confirmed in my heart about you Debbie is that your honest and have a heart of Love, but if what you shared was said to deliberately hurt your friend than yes it was sin, if not than you are free to express your thoughts and feelings, you may need correcting but so do we all at times but when needed, it must be motivated by Love and this does not mean we are never firm in our correction but we are never condemning, we remember we also sinned and were forgiven and it is not based on a fleshy agenda either but on God’s Truth.

    Christian Love Always – Anne

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    • Annie… Thank you for sharing Scripture on forgiveness.

      I genuinely repented and tried to show my friend that it was genuine in the only ways I could think of (a conversation and written down since I had moved out of state at this time.) As for the comment that started this. Yes, it was sin as God pointed out to me through much reflection and time spent in His presence. I had an attitude that was wrong and that God had corrected from time to time in the past. This incident brought it to a head. I thought it was just between God and I, but others could also pick up on the attitude. (Sin never affects just us.) So, yes it was sin on my part: not intentional, but stemming from an attitude that I harbored.

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      • Debbie you may have had the wrong attitude but which one of us hasn’t at some time, we were not Born Christians and we have all sinned as Adults and have also been in error about God’s Truth before we asked and received God’s wisdom and empowering.

        Did your friend come to you in Love and rebuke you for your wrong attitude or did she just distance herself from you, did she care if you were in error and try to correct you or just walk away, if so this is not Love it is self-centredness,

        I had a Blogger who after being so sweet to me started to moderate my comments, I thought this strange as she hadn’t before except for the first one, than on one of her Post messages she gave a link, when I checked it out it was a Cult but she had given no warning, so I wrote to her and asked why, she became abusive and told me publicly on a comment on my Blog that her followers had warned her about me, of course they had no Scriptural confirmation that I was in error it was just what they thought because I did not agree with their teaching but if I was in error they should have come to me and shown me Scripturally that I was wrong but instead they critically gossiped about me to other Bloggers and perhaps they still do which is sin but than they did the same to Jesus and even His family called Him mad and He warned us that we would be treated the same when we follow Him and that what they do to us they are doing to Him.

        Debbie I don’t overlook error in teaching or in attitude I correct them in Love, if we don’t others can be deceived or hurt too.

        I have rebuked the Ministry personally that we talked about by e-mail, they have my details but I have received no follow up, I would be very careful of what they are teaching you, they show they are in error Scripturally, which means they do not have the leading of the Holy Spirit, If they believe I’m the one in error than they will need to share why and with the confirmation of Scripture. We need to be in Unity which is all about Love and being in agreement with God’s Truth.

        Blessings – Anne.

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  4. Thought provoking! I always try to extend grace to those around me who seem to be having a moment/meltdown/off day/whatever…challenging to know when to speak up and when to excuse. Thank you for raising the topic and making me pause to consider! Blessings! ~ Sheila

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    • Sheila… Love covers over a multitude of sins, but oh sweet grace, helps us to love people! It does seem to be a fine line when to speak up. I hope that with my closest friends that they would always correct me.

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