Matthew 5:14-16

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." ~Matthew 5:14-16

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Battle Front: Conquering Excuse-itis.

Excuses are so simple to make. They're easier than doing whatever it is that the excuse is being made for. Yet, nothing results from excuses that's beneficial in the long run. Perhaps short-term, but nothing long lasting. Nothing ever seems to get completed. The accomplishments are not there because an excuse or more (I don't know about you, but my excuses come in pairs) has hindered or stopped me from doing whatever it was that should have been done. 

Why do I am I pondering excuses? Well, lately I've been thinking a lot about my excuse-itis. It's really been attacking my time. Excuses, I've realized, aren't friends. They are certainly enemies. Especially when I use them to get out of doing important things. The prime example of my excuse-itis at work is my time alone with God. "Its hard for me to sit still, I'm a workaholic" or "I just got overwhelmed with things to do" are two of the top excuses I use. You see, the problem isn't in the words I used. The words are certainly true: I am a workaholic and because of that it has always been difficult for me to sit still. And yes, I did get overwhelmed with things to do. But questions must arise from that: When you truly love someone, how much time do you dedicate to them to show that person that you care for them? Were those things so important to do or could they have slid off to the side to make room for the far more important things? While spoken words like "I love you" and other caring words that you bestow on your loved one are meaningful and good, unspoken actions go deeper. Showing them that you love them takes the relationship past the tongue to the depths of the heart.

Last night, I was very sleepy, worn out from a hard day at work. I couldn't help but notice my Dad's work clothes and thermal attire in the laundry pile last night. They really needed a good washing up, so that in the morning, he could wear warm clean clothes. I set aside my personal wants and did a "s.h.m.i.l.y." (see how much I love you) act. I didn't have to, I certainly wasn't obligated to do that, but did it because I love my Dad. In the same light, my relationship with God should be treated with as much (and more) love as I bestow on my loved ones. Much to much of my time gets consumed by things of the simple sort: tv, reading a book, relaxing, just to name a few. Those things can certainly slide off to the side to do at a later time. My time with God is important for uncountable reasons. The most important reason is that it attests to the fact that I love Him. When I spend time with Him, it becomes obvious that I'm not just saying I love Him - I mean what I say because I'm making room for Him in my life to spend quality time with Him. Do you struggle with this issue as well?

We are in a spiritual battle. We need to be looking to the Commander for instruction and guidance. The first thing I should be doing (yes, even before grabbing that famous cup or two of coffee) is to go before the Lord in prayer and ask Him to guide my steps and provide me with His strength so that I am not walking in the flesh, but according to His will and for His glory. That is far better, I think, than anything and everything else. The next thing I should be doing is to pick up my Bible from it's place on the nightstand and do my daily devotional with Him. This sharpens my sword, preparing it for good use. It is important for the Christian to be at the ready. To defeat my excuse-itis will not be easy and I'm sure I'll stumble around a bit, but I know that just so long as I keep my eyes focused on the Lord, eventually, it will be defeated and I will establish a healthy routine of picking up the Word, donning my armor, and conversing with Him. To me, it is a critical matter. This is day one of my challenging battle. After a brief struggling in the mind, I spent time with my beloved Savior. Excuse-itis can do nothing today in that area but hope that tomorrow, I will cave in to it's busy-cry. With God's strength, I will shut out it's noise and focus on Him, the one who matters the most in my life. I desire nothing less than to show Him that I truly love Him above all else.

I hope my struggling and want to overcome this enemy brings you encouragement, and will cheer you on in your own walk to tackle the excuses that seek to hinder your relationship with Him.
God bless.

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