Excuses!

I am part of the coordinators for one of the general courses offered by students. Every student knows and understands that passing all general courses is an important requirement for graduation. It is also common knowledge that obtaining at least 75% score in class attendance is a non-negotiable requirement for writing any exam. Armed with this information, one would think that any responsible student would make every necessary effort to attend lectures and be attentive in class at all cost.

The usual practice is that a week before semester examinations commence, attendance scores for each course are uploaded for students to know their status – whether they would be eligible to sit for an exam or otherwise. In the just concluded semester, I (working with another colleague) happened to be in charge of the upload of attendance scores for the general course I mentioned earlier. As soon as the upload was done, my office became a ‘hive’. I do not think my office ever witnessed an influx of students the way it did after the upload of attendance scores. Students who came short of the 75% attendance requirement bombarded my office, hoping for a rectification, and oh, they came armed, with EXCUSES. I heard all manner of excuses, more than I cared to listen to in a life time! I kept asking, “Why did you disregard the instructions, when you very well knew the repercussions?” and I kept getting excuses, more and more of ’em. Unfortunately, most of their excuses did not hold water……

Excuses abound everywhere. I guess I can safely assume we have all had our share of excuses. We have had to give excuse for one thing or the other. While some excuses may be pretty genuine, most times excuses are simply weak attempts at covering up our shortcomings – shortcomings we have consciously refused to acknowledge and deal with. It cuts across every aspect of our lives – our walk with God, our secular job, our interpersonal relationship, our way of live, etc – we know the rules, we understand the instructions, yet we fall short and worse still —– we give excuses, plenty of ’em!

Don’t get me wrong, we all fall short at one time or the other, for one reason or the other. However, I have discovered that making constant excuses for one’s shortcoming deters one from dealing with such shortcoming and overcoming it. Excuses are ‘pseudo tranquilizers’ that ebb the need or desire to work on our shortcomings. Excuses make us feel comfortable in our state of inadequacy; it kills the motivation to make things right and become better. Just as tranquilizers are central nervous system depressants and overdose could be extremely fatal , excuses depress and cripple our drive and zest for ‘wholesomeness’ in varying aspects of our lives. This is highly fatal.

I have found the difference between Saul and David – EXCUSES. When Samuel first confronted Saul in 1Samuel 13 about the burnt offering he shouldn’t have offered, he gave excuses (1Samuel 13: 11-12). He did not acknowledge his wrongdoing; he was probably not even sorry. Samuel made some declarations about his kingdom and one would have thought that would set Saul right but no, he went and committed another ‘crime’. When he was confronted again in 1Samuel 15 about disobeying God’s instructions concerning the Amalekites, he was still full of excuses (1Samuel 15:20-21). He did not acknowledge his fault at the instant it was presented to him. When he eventually did, it was too late. David on the other hand, in 2Samuel 12, was confronted in similar manner and straightaway acknowledged his shortcoming. He did not utter a word of excuse, he simple declared his absolute fault in the matter (2Samuel 12:13). What happened to him was that he obtained mercy.

Enough of excuses! Let us receive grace to be DONE with excuses in our lives.

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AyotundeElegbeleye 2014 (Originally written for ThyPreciousJewels)

Jesus is LORD!

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