A wise Christian sage, Vance Havner, once said, “an excuse is the skin of a reason stuffed with a lie.” An excuse is often a “smokescreen” for what we really know we ought to do. Consider the topic of attending church for example. The excuses are endless. I often hear “It is my only time to sleep in.” When we suggest attending Sunday or Wednesday evenings, the retort is either stone silence or another feeble excuse. Another response is “I worship when I go bird watching, go on long strolls, and go fishing.” Solitude with God is needed and has its purpose but is no substitute for fellowshipping with the saints, worshipping God, and learning and obeying His Word. The excuse that I tire of hearing, however, is “I do not go to church because that is where all the hypocrites are.” When a person makes such a statement, they are actually revealing that the hypocrite is bigger than themselves, because the hypocrite is where he needs to be — in church. Ananias and Saphira were hypocrites, and God took care of them. Demas forsook Paul for the world. Paul did not stop his missionary tours when Demas left him. Jesus said the wheat and tares must grow together, and He warned us of the false prophets. We work and go to school with hypocrites. If hypocrites would not be in our church, home and school, we would be in heaven! May we deal gently, lovingly but firmly when we confront those with excuses. We must realize it is a “heart” problem, and the heart surgery is something only God can perform. When God touches a heart, they will WANT to come to church. Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

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