How often have you used the phrase “I’m busy” to get out of something?

Think about it for a second.  I know that I’ve said this many times!  Sometimes, the excuse it legitimate, sometimes it is a slight exaggeration to get out of something.  That after work function with coworkers or friends, perhaps a relative’s birthday party, or something that might better you as a person, like an athletic activity or hobby.

I was working through Luke 14:16-24 for a paper assignment for my school this week and this idea came up in the text.  A man was going to provide a big feast for his friends, and he planned out everything perfectly.  When everything was all set and ready to go, he sent out his servant to go tell his friends to come over to his house.  However, one after another began to turn him away.  They told him that they needed to look after business investments or to spend time with his new wife.  I can just imagine the scene, as the servant is told “no” repeatedly.

Needless to say, the host was pretty upset when he found out about all the excuses.  Yet, instead of throwing out the food, he decided to invite a bunch of people over.  His servant went out and invited the people on the margins of society, and they all showed up for the meal.  At the end of the story, we are told that he withdrew his invitation to his friends and decided to keep company with the new guests instead.The thing that got me in this passage is that the excuses that the original guests used were legitimate.  Yet, these excuses were just another way to get out of something.  This lord wanted his friends to dine with him, but they would rather be busy than enjoy the company of this nobleman.

I realized how often I use excuses to get out of things.  Sometimes they are legitimate, sometimes they are not.  But a lot of times, when I know that God is telling me to do something or say something, I brush it off.  “I need to get home” I tell myself, “I don’t want to spend that money right now.”  Excuses, excuses.  How often do I use these lame arguments to get out of something?

The lord of the house invited his friends, but they rejected him.  So he extended an invitation to everyone else, and they accepted.  I hope that I find myself in the latter group more often than the former.  My excuse might be legitimate, but I need to take action and live differently.  To live a better story that includes feasting and serving instead of being all about my own business.

How do you overcome excuses?