Friday, May 3, 2024

Cheap Excuses

By: Lauren Thomas 

I have a chronic problem with being on time. It’s embarrassing. And here’s an even more embarrassing confession: sometimes as I’m running behind, I start mentally justifying my lateness. But my excuses are pretty cheap. 

There are some cheap excuses in the Bible. Did you know? 


The first involves Aaron in Exodus 32. As Moses was up on the mountain receiving the covenant from God, the people went to Aaron, demanding gods to worship. Aaron told the people to give him their gold. He received their gold and “fashioned with a graving tool” a golden calf, an idol, for them to worship (Exodus 32:4). When Moses finally came down from the mountain, Aaron gave a very lame, cheap excuse:


So I said to them, ‘Let any who have gold take it off.’ So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.”

Exodus 32:24 ESV


Come on, Aaron. You literally made that thing.


The next cheap excuse that comes to mind is found in 1 Samuel 13. King Saul and his army were in the middle of war with the Philistines. Samuel was supposed to offer a burnt offering on behalf of the Israelite army. However, when Samuel was delayed, and Saul’s army started deserting him, under pressure Saul offered the sacrifice. But this went against God’s prior command. Here’s how Saul’s cheap excuse went:


11 Samuel said, “What have you done?” And Saul said, “When I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines had mustered at Michmash, 12 I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the favor of the Lord.’ So I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering.”

1 Samuel 13:11-12 ESV


Really, Saul? “Forced yourself?” More like, “gave in to the pressure.” More like “desperately trying to win the favor or man.”


Another cheap excuse comes to mind from the New Testament in a parable Jesus told. In the parable, a nobleman entrusted some wealth to his servants since he was going away on business. Two of three servants invested and multiplied the nobleman’s money, but the third gave this cheap excuse:


20 Then another came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief; 21 for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’

Luke 19:20-21 ESV


The guy could have invested this money with bankers and received interest. But no. This cheap excuse brought to you by a mixture of greed, avarice, and fear. 


Let’s be real, making cheap excuses is something we all do from time to time. It’s a way to save face, a way to avoid shame, a way to feel better about ourselves. 


But it doesn’t get us anywhere. 


Far better to be honest, humble, and confess. Cheap excuses aren’t worth it. They’re actually very expensive (as you can see if you read the above accounts in context). 


Besides, Jesus prefers honest confession. Blesses it, even: 


If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9 ESV


Don’t let a cheap excuse rob you of God’s grace.



Can you think of any other cheap excuses in the Bible? What were the consequences or repercussions of these excuses?

Are there any areas of your life where you are letting a cheap excuse rob you of God’s grace?

1 comment:

  1. I am the opposite, I am early for everything and couldn't be late if I tried, but I do think I make cheap excuses in other areas of my life ha ha.


Thank you for stopping by, we love hearing from you. Please feel free to contact us with any prayer requests or questions by commenting below or emailing us at the About Us page.