excuses, excuses

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else,” according to Benjamin Franklin. Excuses are funny things. We all make them; psychologists call them “rationalizations.” Some are real and some are not. They reveal our heart and intentions. It reminds me of a time when some men made excuses not to answer God’s invitation…

“A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’ ” (Luke 14:16-24)

These men were part of many invited by the master of the house to a great and important banquet. It was the place to be; you didn’t want to miss this grand event. It would be a banquet of presence with the master, a banquet of peace, help, guidance, friendship, rest, feasting, victory, love, and hope. It would be a priority to attend, maybe a once-in-a-lifetime offer. There would be nothing more important for these men than to be there. What a privilege and honor – NOT attending would be a fatal mistake!

Yet that’s what they did. They made surprising excuses, needing to attend to their field, oxen and wife. Why did they need to check on those items today? How could they miss the banquet for things so trivial? They made disrespectful excuses; these items were more important than the master of the house – what an insult! They had wrong perspective and priorities, giving worth to items that pass away and don’t last. Even as important as a wife is, she doesn’t compare to the banquet given by the master of the house. To attend to these items before the master is idolatry and rejecting him, his banquet, and all he offers, and there would be a price to pay. The master was angry and invited others to come, to fill up his house, and he closed with solemn words: “For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.”

This story is a picture of God inviting many to come to the banquet He is giving. Are you making excuses not to show up? What do you need to put aside in order to attend? Are you presuming on your relationship with God, thinking you’ll be there but you really won’t? Do you have other priorities to deal with that are more important than God? There is nothing more important in your life than the banquet – don’t miss it. Stop making excuses.