Putting Excuses in Their Place

Have you ever spent the afternoon searching for homemaking advice and then made the excuse that you didn’t get the laundry done because you were busy? Perhaps you’ve used your lengthy “to do” list as an excuse for skipping your daily Bible reading? Maybe you’ve blamed PMS for an incident where you were impatient with your husband?We make excuses to disguise our weaknesses and mistakes. Why is it so difficult to be honest and how can we stop making excuses?

Though some excuses are legitimate (being tardy due to a flat tire, missing an event because of illness, etc.), most of the time we use excuses to justify poor actions or inactions.

Unfortunately, I make excuses pretty often. I don’t want to deceive myself with them—I want to confront my mistakes and inadequacies so I can rise above them.

Why do we make excuses?

Remember Adam back in the Garden of Eden? When God confronted him with his sin (eating fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil), he made an excuse: “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” (See Genesis chapter 3 for the whole story.) Since Adam, all humankind has been prone to giving excuses. Even Moses, a Biblical hero, wasn’t immune. When God told him to go to the Pharaoh to ask for freedom from slavery for the Israelites, Moses gave the excuse that he wasn’t a good speaker (Exodus 4:10).

We like making excuses because it’s easier to come up with them than it is to admit and address our weaknesses and errors. It’s easier to blame a busy schedule than fess up to our laziness and procrastination. It’s easier to blame the bad economy than to address our poor spending habits. It’s easier to blame how we were raised than to learn new communication skills.

Ditching excuses for action

God corrected Moses’ excuse and used him in a mighty way. God wants to use us in significant ways, too. This will happen more readily if we ditch our excuses! Given that it’s so easy to make excuses, how can we stop? I don’t have all the answers, but I’ve discovered a few strategies that help me.

  • Identify your common excuses and confront them. There are some excuses I use repeatedly (my favorite is being busy). If you think about it, you may realize that there are some you use frequently. Being aware of common excuses allows us to anticipate them so we can be prepared to confront them with truth (e.g., if I have time to leisurely peruse the news online and check Facebook, then I’m not too busy).
  • Get over yourself! Many times I make excuses because of pride—I’m trying to “save face.” I don’t want others to know my weakness or failures. I don’t want others to think less of me. Sound familiar? We ought to humble ourselves so we avoid the destruction that results from pride (Proverbs 16:18).
  • Set goals and identify steps to achieve them. In setting goals, we focus on solutions instead of problems. Moreover, the likelihood we’ll achieve goals increases when we select simple, incremental steps to help us achieve them. There’s no room for excuses when we achieve goals!

I don’t want to miss out on God’s abundance and all He wants to do through me because I’m wallowing in my imperfections and mistakes by making excuses. Do you?

What excuses have you made recently? Why do you think you made them? Do any strategies help you stop making excuses?

Shared on the following link-ups:

Living Well Wednesday, Thriving Thursday, Works for Me Wednesday, WholeHearted Wednesday, Titus 2 Tuesday, Teach Me Tuesday, Titus 2sday, Living Proverbs 31, Miscellany Monday, & Making Your Home Sing.


  1. This is such a great reminder. Thank you for sharing! Blessings to you. Have a wonderful week!


  2. A hard but need post. So very true that we make excuses to avoid taking ownership of our own weaknesses. *ouch* Going to bet busy & tackle some things today! I was your neighbor at Making Your Home Sing this morning.
    Have a great Monday,

    • I’ve found it beneficial to keep this post in mind as I’ve begun several tasks this morning (getting started can be especially tough on a Monday!). Grace as you get busy and tackle the jobs before you!

  3. I agree with really looking at what excuses we use constantly… it doesn’t mean they aren’t valid, it just means they are predictable and we need to start looking for ways to plan around them. Maybe our idea of what we should be able to do in a given time frame is unreasonable or idealistic. We need to remember that kids are kids and plan around their normal tendencies (like, I make sure dance bags are cleaned and packed on Sunday afternoon… not Monday morning!)

    • Your approach of packing the dance bags the day before you need them sounds very effective!
      Thanks for pointing out that we sometimes have unrealistic expectations of what we can do in a certain time frame. This is often a reason why things don’t get finished.

  4. This is all too true!! I make excuses too and all because I am not being honest enough to take the blame for “it” myself. I want God to change this in my life. Thank you so much for sharing.

  5. Amen and Amen! Lately I have been so aware of my own and others inability to confess and repent. We waste so much time making excuses and avoiding the real issue of sin. thanks for this reminder/challenge. And thanks for pinning it to Faith and Joy in Jesus.

  6. I had never really thought much about this, but I will be thinking about it from now on. Thanks for the encouragement.

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