2008 Snow Pictures 033A defense of some offensive behavior or failure to keep a promise, failure to perform

Image creates desire. You will what you imagine.   J.G. Gillimore

It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one. George Washington

Never ruin an apology with an excuse. Kimberly Johnson

   The concept of an excuse has a good and bad connotation. When we have failed to live up to someone’s expectation, failed to live up to an obligation, or failed to keep any kind of commitment; an excuse (reason) is something we readily give to “try to explain” our failure. Giving an excuse is good in that we acknowledge owing an explanation. However, it ends there. Excuses are often used to try to escape personal responsibility.

“The dog ate my homework” is one of the all-time excuse classics.

What about those who fail to keep a commitment, who say or do nothing? We have had “no show” appointments that never called or communicated to us in any way? Some type of explanation is expected and appropriate. We have to wonder about the character of someone who fails to keep a commitment and then fails to even make the effort to explain their “no show”.  Not accepting personal responsibility for our actions is immature, irresponsible, selfish, and undesirable.

Excuses, often, involve blaming someone else or something else. If we are in the habit of “blaming”, we have a problem. The desirable trait is always accepting responsibility, apologizing, asking forgiveness and at least owning up to our failure. Even if the dog did eat the homework, we should still accept the responsibility for failing to keep our obligation of doing the homework and turning it in. We are responsible, not the dog. If we are late for work; the reason may be there was a traffic jam. However, we are responsible for being at work on time.

Typically most people tend to be forgiving and are willing to give a second chance. Things do happen and we sometimes come up short. An excuse (reason) for our failure is warranted as long as we accept responsibility. However, if we continue to have the same problem and continue giving the same excuses and not accepting personal responsibility, we have a personnel problem with our self. The “key point” to all of this is that we cannot explain away our shortcomings by giving “excuses”.  The desirable, mature, and growth oriented approach is honestly realizing why we failed, accepting responsibility and offering an explanation or apology. We then change our actions and minimize the likelihood of repeat occurrences. The goal is to minimize the use of “excuses” and always holding ourselves accountable for our actions.

Challenge:  Have you ever had problems with making excuses for your failures and unacceptable actions? First of all, adults should not continue to blame their parents for any of their shortcomings. Adults hold themselves accountable and responsible. Being able to look in the mirror and pointing to the self is the beginning of taking responsibility. The goal is proactively being an ongoing work in progress and striving to improve daily.

WisdomOne man has enthusiasm for 30 minutes, another for 30 days, but it is the man who has it for 30 years who makes a success of his life.   Edward B Butler

Spiritual: (NIV)

If any of you, lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

The ways of the world accommodates excuses, deceit, deception, lying, blaming, irresponsibility and many other bad traits and undesirable qualities. In our humanity we are prone to have these issues. “There tends to be safety in numbers. Just because everyone else does or does not do something does not make it right. If we want to be people of character with the highest standards we need God’s help to enable and empower us to be our very best.

Prayer:  Help me to hold myself accountable and responsible. Please enable and empower me to be my best.

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