Our pastor is finishing up a life-changing series called “How to Deal with How You Feel.” In one of the sermons he explained, “When you make a way for excuses, you excuse your blessings.” Woa! That statement really spoke to me and challenged me to think about some areas where I was not seeing God’s victory in my life. I decided to take responsibility and not make excuses for those behaviors or lack of behaviors anymore. I thought of all the excuses I had made for my personal struggles in the past and made a serious decision to stop the excuses and excuse them from my life. Every morning I woke up and thanked God that those things are old and passed away and I am a new creature in Christ. I definitely noticed a difference but you know change never happens overnight! So about two weeks after doing my morning ritual everyday and walking in my new found peace, the storm rolled in… Just when I thought I had things handled once and for all. I’m just going to be totally transparent with you all. One of the things I was believing in victory for was loosing my temper and yelling at my son. For those two weeks, I was patient and kind even when he tested my patience -I truly felt so peaceful! And then… I got a reality check that I had some more work to do in myself. I won’t go into all the details for time’s sake but it was a very LONG, very frustrating day with my son and as evening rolled around I had the mother of all meltdowns. I blew up at my son worse than ever. Immediately, I felt ashamed and defeated. I apologized right after. I apologized to my son and to my husband who witnessed the fit; however, I apologize with a laundry list of buts… “I’m sorry I lost my temper like that BUT you haven’t been listening to me all day”, “you’ve been fighting me to get ready for bed for the last 2 hours”… “I’m sorry I yelled at him like that BUT I’m still not feeling well” “I’ve had the kids (I watch my God son sometimes too) all day and I’m exhausted”, blah, blah, blah. I apoligized like I always have but this time I didn’t feel right! The next morning I woke up and the light bulb went off. I apologized but I made a million excuses why I acted that way. I realized I really am never going to get past it as long as I keep making excuses for it! I apologized right then and there to my son first for the original offense and then for the garbage apology. I told him that I tried blaming him for my unacceptable behavior and that there was no reason for me to yell at him that way and that I’m going to do everything I can to make sure I never do it again. Then, when I saw my husband, I told him the same thing. I am to be leading my child by example. I don’t think it’s appropriate for him to loose his temper and throw a fit when he gets upset but how can I repremand him for it when he learned it from me?! My husband is so cute! When I told him there was no excuse for my behavior and I wanted to apologize the right way this time, he tried to support me. He’s so darn sweet, and he said something like, “I just feel bad, like maybe if I helped out some you never would have gotten so frustrated.” I stopped him right there. The old me would’ve wiggled right in there and snuggled up with that excuse but I’m trying to bury that broad! I know he was trying to be supportive but he was making excuses for me. I told him my behavior is my own choice and my own responsibility. My peace should not be contingent on any circumstance or anyone else’s behavior. I want to be peaceful in ALL circumstances and situations and I’ll never get there if I don’t take resposiblity for my poor choices and refused to accept them anymore. Can I tell you – I was really not looking forward to eating humble pie and apologizing to my husband the right way (not because of him, he’s awesome, but because I wasn’t looking forward to admitting out loud what a jerk I was with no excuses to fall back on). See, I always thought I had no problem apologizing. In fact, I took pride in it, that I was quick to apologize but now I realize most the time it wasn’t a real apology. It was riddled with buts, blame, and excuses. But once I gave a real, excuse-free apology I felt so free!!! It was like I really did cut that baggage loose! Just the other day I listened to this awesome teaching by Steven Furtick in which he states “You will see the blessing when you stop the blaming… You cannot blame and be blessed at the same time.” My dad had the same issue I struggle with. My mom called them “donald duck fits” and when/if he’d apologize he’d make excuses for his behavior by blaming every situation and everyone else. He learned it from his dad. I’ve heard someone mention generational curses once and I dont think it’s so much that as it is people making excuses for their bad behavior and passing it down to their kids. Well, I am thrilled to say that the buck stops here and I will be passing along peace not a hot head to my son and his children!
I don’t want to excuse the blessings in my life because I’m holding onto excuses that are really just holding me back from becoming who I want to be! Decide what has been holding you back from the blessings God has for you. Figure out what is no longer acceptable in your life and commit to no longer making excuses for it. Kick the excuses to the curb and get ready to soar!