THERE ARE LOTS OF ALIBIS for a weak church, but very few reasons. Churches that are weak have one distinguishing trait in common. They know all the reasons they’re weak, and have what they believe to be air-tight alibis to explain away their own weaknesses.
Some of the alibis are even clever, and quite a few are justified by the facts. Unfortunately, an alibi won’t be heard at the judgement [Mat 7:21-22]. All the Lord will want to know is, “HAVE YOU DONE THE WILL OF MY FATHER?” [Re 2:5]
A character analyst compiled a list of the most commonly used alibis. Though this was in context of business, I’ve learned that these alibis are used in any context, even the church.
As you read the list, examine yourself carefully, and determine how many of these alibis, if any, are your own property. Consider this, the teachings of the scripture makes every one of these obsolete. [Ge 3:12,13; Ex 4:1,10-14; 32:22-24; De 30:11-14; Jg 6:12-17; 1Ki 19:19-21; 2Ki 5:10-14; Jer 1:1,4-10; Mt 8:21; Lu 9:59-62; 14:18-20; Ac 24:25; Ro 1:20; 2:1]
- IF I didn’t have a wife and family. ..
- IF I had enough “pull” . . .
- IF I had money . . .
- IF I had a good education . . .
- IF I could get a job . . .
- IF I had good health . . .
- IF I only had time . . .
- IF times were better . . .
- IF other people understood me . . .
- IF conditions around me were only different . . .
- IF I could live my life over again . . .
- IF I did not fear what “THEY” would say . . .
- IF I had been given a chance . . .
- IF I now had a chance . . .
- IF other people didn’t “have it in for me” . . .
- IF nothing happens to stop me . . .
- IF I were only younger . . .
- IF I could only do what I want . . .
- IF I had been born rich . . .
- IF I could meet “the right people”. . .
- IF I had the talent that some people have . . .
- IF I dared assert myself . . .
- IF I only had embraced past opportunities . . .
- IF people didn’t get on my nerves . . .
- IF I didn’t have to keep house and look after the children . . .
- IF I could save some money . . .
- IF the boss only appreciated me . . .
- IF I only had somebody to help me . . .
- IF my family understood me . . .
- IF I lived in a big city . . .
- IF I could just get started . . .
- IF I were only free . . .
- IF I had the personality of some people . . .
- IF I were not so fat . . .
- IF my talents were known …
- IF I could just get a “break” . . .
- IF I could only get out of debt . . .
- IF I hadn’t failed . . .
- IF I only knew how . . .
- IF everybody didn’t oppose me . . .
- IF I didn’t have so many worries . . .
- IF I could marry the right person . . .
- IF people weren’t so dumb . . .
- IF my family were less extravagant. . .
- IF I were sure of myself . . .
- IF luck were not against me . . .
- IF I had not been born under the wrong star . . .
- IF it were not true that “what is to be will be” . . .
- IF I did not have to work so hard . . .
- IF I hadn’t lost my money . . .
- IF I lived in a different neighborhood. .
- IF I didn’t have a “past” . . .
- IF I only had a business of my own. . .
- IF other people would only listen to me . . .
IF * * * and this is the greatest of them all * * * I had the courage to see myself as I really am, I would find out what is wrong with me, and correct it, then I might have a chance to profit by my mistakes and learn something from the experience of others. [Job 13:23; Psalm 119:59; La 3:40; Hag 1:7; 1Co 11:28; Ga 6:3-5]
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? [2Corinthians 13:5]
We know that there is something WRONG, or we would now be where WE WOULD HAVE BEEN IF we had spent more time examining our weaknesses, and less time building alibis to cover them.
The ideas in this article are not new, [Ecclesiastes 1:9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.] We use the word excuse rather than alibi, but the meanings remain the same. The writer of Ecclesiastes also wrote that time and chance happen to us all [Ec 9:11]. We could add this to the list of alibis, but I believe this proves that every person has difficulties, albeit at different times and in different areas. Rather than use this as another reason for NOT, let’s DO despite the difficulty. Revelations 2:10, “be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” means that we should remain faithful, EVEN IF IT CAUSES OUR DEATH.
Are we using excuses as a church, and if so, how can we turn that excuse into positive action? Just a thought.