Do you remember what happened when a certain rich man invited the “proper” guests to the wedding

17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.

18  AND THEY ALL WITH ONE CONSENT BEGAN TO MAKE EXCUSE. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.

19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.

20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.

21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.

I was at church last night and stuck my foot in my mouth. The pastor had twice asked people to get up and move forward to sit together for better fellowship. NO ONE MOVED! I then responded to what I felt was the Spirit’s leading and overcoming my severe shyness, arose and pled with them. NO ONE MOVED! They even laughed at me till they realized that I was serious when I said that I believed that the Lord had revealed to me that sitting towards the back of the church seems like a small thing but reveals the severe lack of teamwork enthusiasm and fellowship that is destroying his church’s impact in the world. STILL NO ONE MOVED! So I had the audacity to ask three young men in the back row to explain to me their reasoning. They just shrugged their shoulders and DID NOT MOVE! One dear godly lady who is very involved and hospitable said that her excuse was that she needed to leave unpredictably to the nursery and did not want to disturb people.The whole incident was painful to me. When I pastored a church in Chicago, it died because everyone had their sufficient excuse to sit in the back trusting God and others would fill the void.

I think that each one who finds their EXCUSE to avoid being real with each other thinks their EXCUSE is legitimate and that others will fill the need and besides it is just a little issue.

I was rebuked by an elder afterwards, because he correctly noted that pastor had not sanctioned my feedback and would never have “called out specific people” to explain their rebellion. In my defense, I am an eternal (if somewhat unrealistic) optimist and actually thought people just needed some prodding to move,to their benefit and the salvation of the church. When they didn’t I was genuinely puzzled.

Luke 16:10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.

11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?

I need to fight my own reasonable excuses to not get close to people, “I’m just shy, they will just reject me, maybe later, I do my part, etc.


2 thoughts on “WHAT’S YOUR EXCUSE?

  1. I was touched by your story about the excuses give for believers not to get close to each other. I am often sometimes genuinely puzzled by the lack of interest in other believers to apply biblical principles to our daily lives, especially in my family. I struggle with rejection and used to take it very personally when they just didn’t get it.

    This week I have an opportunity to thank God for new rejection and new puzzlement with a Christian family member who is behaving in a passive aggressive manner at a time when I really could use some love and support.

    In the past I would have reacted and gotten my feelings hurt, but I have been listening to your audio talks almost every day. I am choosing not to take the rejection personally or react to it. I am going to admit I am powerless to change her or do what I feel lead to do without help. I have been told that I am on my own. I have told the Lord “I can’t. You can. Here are my hands, my feet, my mind, my mouth, and my all. Please show me what to do and I trust you for the outcome.” If it turns out well we will all be blessed and Christ will be glorified. If I am unsuccessful, the family missed a blessing. It is only my responsibility to do my part.

    I feel lonely and sad at the state of my relationship with my family, but I choose to thank God that it is drawing me closer to Him.

    Thank you, Dr. Bell.

    P.S. Years ago, I heard on Focus on the Family that it is good to train your children to sit in the front because they pay better attention since the pastor can make eye contact. I followed that advice and provided our children with little notebooks to draw pictures of the sermon. When they learned to write, we taught them to take sermon notes. It helped me as an adult to pay attention.

  2. This is so true. People often ask for your honest opinion but once you give them your HONEST opinion, it’s the start of World War III. But that can’t stop you from speaking truth, because then you miss out on speaking into the peoples lives who actually DO want honesty. And for the ones who don’t, at least you planted a seed. When the Holy Spirit provokes you to move, you’re not always going to get the best responses. If everyone likes you then you’re doing something wrong as a follower of Christ! 🙂

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