Rationalization (making excuses)

Excuses, Excuses

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Stop Making Excuses There are some people who seem to have a knack for always having an excuse as to why they cannot do something, no matter how simple or difficult the task at hand may be. As someone has wisely said,

The person who really wants to do something finds a way; the other person finds an excuse.

Steven Grayhm, a Canadian actor, director, scriptwriter and producer, once said,

Excuses are the tools with which persons with no purpose in view build for themselves great monuments of nothing.

Pierre-Jules Renard, a French author and member of the Académie Goncourt, said,

The only man who is really free is the one who can turn down an invitation to dinner without giving an excuse.

And Benjamin Franklin stated,

He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.

There are times when people are legitimately unable to do things because of extenuating circumstances. However, there seem to be some people who are so wrapped up in themselves and what is happening in their little world that they can never spare the time to aid someone else. For example, if you were to ask these people for a ride somewhere they will be quick to tell you that they can’t because they are not going your way when they actually have to pass right by the doors of the place where you need to go. All it would take is a few extra minutes of their precious time to drop you off and then be on their way, but obviously that must be an inconvenience to them.

How many times, even at church, have people been asked to stay behind, or to come a little early to help do something, and they never seem to be able to because they always have to be somewhere else or to do something else? Sometimes that may be the case, but not all the time. Sometimes they are just making excuses for not doing something that they did not have the desire to do in the first place. As the Yiddish proverb states,

If you don’t want to do something, one excuse is as good as another.

People who consistently make excuses to keep from doing something often deprive themselves of many wonderful blessings and opportunities. An excellent illustration of this is given in the parable of the great supper as recorded in the Luke 14:16-24:

Parable of the Great Supper

16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.

20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.

21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.

22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.

23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

The Master invites all to come and partake of the Great Supper that has been prepared, but how many will have an excuse for not accepting the invitation and will say as those in the parable, “I pray thee have me excused”? Of a surety, “none of those which were bidden shall taste of [His] supper“ (Luke 14:24). The Master expounds upon this as He further teaches in Luke 14: 26-27,

If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

How sad to think of the blessings that some could have if they would but only accept the invitation that is given to “Come” instead of always making excuses not to go. Truly there are many who are called, but few will be chosen because “their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men” (Doctrine and Covenants 121:34, 35). In all of their giving of excuses they have failed to learn that “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).

When called upon to do something, do we willingly give of our time to be of assistance, or are we quick to formulate an excuse to get out of doing what has been asked of us? Can it be said of us that we are always willing to”lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees” (Hebrews 12:12), or do people only see us as a person who always has another excuse?