Avoid Giving Excuses
23 Jan'19 5
Avoid Giving ExcusesBeloved Brothers and Sisters, I'm about to direct your attention to spiritual things. I cannot imagine that to be a Christian is to be an idler or a lazy person. Though salvation is not by works, as soon as God puts divine life into us, we begin to fight the battle for eternal life; we begin to struggle to enter in through the narrow gate, and we begin to run perseveringly the race that is set before us, enduring hardships as good soldiers of Jesus Christ.
During the final hours of this world's history, it is just the endurance of hardships for Christ's sake that many of us do not like. We prefer an easy form of Christianity which comes in flowery grassy fields, flowing streams, and sunny glades - all these things we like; but we do not like the climbing of mountains or the swimming of rivers or going through fires or fighting, struggling, and wrestling. Some of us live the life of a Christian for a while till we encounter difficulties and then we become offended. When everything is running smoothly at the beginning of the Christian life, we do sing praises to the Lord; but when difficulties begin to surface because of our faith, many straightaway become offended and abandon their Christian walk.
We are told in Proverbs 20:4 that "the sluggard will not plough by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest and have nothing." I am going to talk about this sluggard in this article. Dear cherished Readers, we must all know that ploughing is hard work and the sluggard does not like it. But the lazy man knows that he will be laughed at if he says ploughing is hard work, so he does not say that. "I must get a better excuse," he thinks, so he says, "It is so cold! I would not have minded going out to plough but I am frozen almost to death; I shall have catarrh; I have no clothes that will keep me warm; it is so cold to my fingers. Lazy fellow! Why don't you say that ploughing is hard work? That is simply what you want to say. But no, he must have a more clever excuse that will not give the opportunity for people to laugh at him.
Supposing it were not cold, do you know what he would say? "Oh, it is so hot! I cannot plough, the sweat runs down my cheeks. You wouldn't like me to plough in this hot weather, would you?" Supposing it were neither hot nor cold, then he would say; I believe that it rained; and if it didn't rain, he would say the ground was too dry. For a bad excuse, in his opinion, is better than none; and therefore he will keep on making excuses to the end; he will do anything than to go and do the work that he does not like - that is, ploughing.
Readers, probably, some of you have smiled at the behaviour of the sluggard that I have described above. However, in these end times, there are some of us who are behaving just like this sluggard. Such people would like to go to heaven, however, without having any struggle. Such people will want to enjoy the harvest, but they do not like the work of ploughing.
There appears to be none of us who have the common honesty and courage to say that; "I do not like the hardships in Christianity." But instead, what do you suppose many of us usually say? "Well, I am as anxious to be a Christian as anybody, but you know, these are such hard times." Hard times? Is any of us complaining that these end times are hard? The times have always been hard since creation. "But in these times," says some of us, "there is no warmth in Christians; they are all so cold-hearted. Why, we attend church and nobody speaks to us. Christianity is not as it used to be in the past. Christianity has depreciated. There are lots of hypocrites, and very few kind Christians and we do not think that we should trouble ourselves about Christianity at all."
Ah! That is a pretty excuse, because we know that what we are saying is not true. In the first place, we know that there is life in Christ's Church even in these evil end times, and that there are still (if only we will look around carefully) a few good loving, warm-hearted Christian men and women to be found. All of us know that there are still some few faithful preachers left. People who are faithful have not disappeared from among men, and although hypocrites are plentiful, still there are many sincere souls. But what if there were not? What business is that of ours? Are we satisfied to be lost because Christianity is not what it ought to be? Let us look at the matter in this direction and ensure that we refrain from making excuses to live a pure life for Christ. Let us work hard to perfect our characters in the fear of the Lord and do our best part to win as many people into the kingdom of God. For it wouldn't be long, our Saviour would pronounce unto us the blessed words: