Today I want to talk about something I think we have all got to stop. Excuses.
Enough with the excuses I say.
I do it all time. I'm sorry, I was late because <insert a random stunt child 1 2 or 3 pulled>. I'm sorry, I forgot because I got distracted by a phone call. I'm sorry, I got stuck in traffic.
I read a funny blog post about a mom explaining why she is running late. I laughed because it is so true. It is something I am all too familiar with.
If I wrote down every single excuse for why we're late or where something went wrong I would have a very lengthy book. Every day.
I think we do enough explaining. It is kind of exhausting. I'm tired of having to explain myself everywhere I go. It is such a burden. It is like carrying around heavy rocks wherever I go. I don't want people to think the wrong things or get the wrong impression of us as a family. You know, because that thing called life sometimes gets in the way of our lives.
I say enough. Can we stop expecting excuses from each other? Can we stop feeling like we have to explain ourselves? Can I?
I have been very blessed in my life with awesome friends and family. The ones that really get me, they don't expect me to explain myself every time I mess up. If I show up late, they are just excited to see me. If I lose a birthday invitation, they don't think twice about my habit of being unorganized. If my child acts up, they don't make me recite my parenting strategies to explain why my child isn't perfect. These people don't judge me when I make mistakes. If I mess up, they laugh with me.
When I am with people like this, I feel safe. They don't expect me to explain myself. They don't expect me to have it all together. They know I am not perfect. They know I am human and I am figuring out this life thing one lesson at a time. Bad habits and all they love me. How uplifting it is to have people like this in our lives! It is a real treasure to have friends like this in my life. I just breathe a little easier in their presence.
Isn't that a lot like grace? Before I even ask for it. Before I try to explain myself. They offer me grace.
God offers me that kind of grace. Here I am. Here I stand not perfect. I mess up. More than I should. Yet I am still forgiven. No hoops to jump through. I don't have to earn it. It is just there. For me. For you. For everyone. Freely given in love. Unconditional.
God knows my trials. He knows my story, my excuses. Jesus knew what he was dying for on the cross. People really are not all that different from 2000 years ago. Sure we have our smart phones, cars, and fancy running water now. Despite these changes, what I struggle with today is not all that different from people in the bible.
John 8:7 NIV “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
In the temple when the woman adulterer was brought forward to Jesus he taught us two things. The first was it is not our place to judge another person's sins because we all are sinners. The second was that he lived and died for us to save us. He could have condemned this woman right there in front of all. Instead he offered her grace.
I have joked with friends on more than one occasion that in a different time or place I would be stoned to death. There is just no way I can be quiet & submissive. Ever. I would cause trouble. I break rules. Not even on purpose most of the time. Crazy little rebel that I am. A Christian rebel even. I will wear that label.
Being a Christian--believing in real grace--drops all of those stones. Truly it does. If I choose to believe in a Jesus that offers grace, I need to offer that grace to those around me as well. To everyone.
I literally mean everyone. It is going to be like Oprah giving away cars. And you get grace, and you get grace, and you get grace! We all get grace!!!
So I am telling you right now. If you are tired of having to explain yourself. If you need a safe place. I want to be that safe place. No more stones. No more excuses. No more explanations. No expectations.
Just friendship. Just love. Just understanding. Just grace.
I'm not perfect. My grace will look kind of messy compared to what God has to offer. I'm probably going to mess up. I mean, of course I will. But I'm going to try. Try to offer grace.
No excuses. I promise. I'm leaving the stones behind.