Excuse making is as old as sin. Adam sinned and blamed Eve. Eve sinned and blamed the serpent. And so we blame our culture, the internet, our parents, our kids, our spouse, our work, our hunger, our health, our sleeplessness for our bad attitudes, our sharp words, our disobedience to Christ, our failure to grow in holiness and joy.
But the message of the gospel collides with all of this. The central way it does this is by Christ taking responsibility for all of us. He came into a world full of sin that He didn’t commit in order to take it all on His shoulders to the cross. The guilt, the shame, the condemnation – He took it all for us. But if you understand this good news rightly, you have to understand that He took it for us so that we might not have any excuses.
Excuses are the things we use to avoid taking responsibility. Excuses are the things that keep us in our sin, and keep us away from the good life in Christ. But why did Jesus die? He died to take away our sin and grant us that good eternal life in Him. But Jesus didn’t die to try to take away our sins and attempt to grant us the good life in Him. He died to actually accomplish it. And that means He died to take away our sins, including all our sinful excuse making.
He took responsibility for us and all of our excuses, so that we might stop making excuses and follow Him. Do not blame your upbringing, your parents, the sins committed against you, your personality, or all your old sins and habits. Look your sin straight in the eye and own it without any excuse because Christ already has, and He died for it. Confess it to God and anyone you’ve sinned against, ask for forgiveness, and take steps to actually kill it. How can you plan ahead to make it harder to do again? Christ died to set you free. He died so that you might take responsibility for your attitude, your words, your actions and live in newness of life.