Excuses- Eccl. 10:18-20
April 6, 2023, 7:59 AM

Foolish Words- Excuses

Eccl 10:18-20

18 If a man is lazy, the rafters sag; if his hands are idle, the house leaks.

19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes life merry, but money is the answer for everything.

20 Do not revile the king even in your thoughts, or curse the rich in your bedroom, because a bird of the air may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say.

Call it what you will- rationalizations, excuses, little white lies. All of them are different of course, but words often are used in crafty ways to excuse foolish, sinful, or lazy ways. That is not to say of course there are legitimate excuses as to why or why not we do some things. If we are sick we excuse ourselves from school or work for good reason. If we are not wanting to go to work or school it can be convenient to come up with reasons that are pretty lame.

Solomon identifies a lazy person who comes up with foolish words to excuse him from work. They convince themselves and others because some projects do not get completed. Their roof can cave in but its because of poor lumber, or too much snow, or shingles are too expensive, or too busy to get at it. And the lazy man never gets around to fixing the leak and things get worse. He'd much rather feast and drink and make merry and talk. And if you get to hear his philosophy in the parties he'll tell you the problem is needing more money- then all the problems if life will be solved. The advice with much talk is less taxes, better pay, more work. Yet talk can become an excuse for not getting things done.

Our words can be light and frivolous to cover up needed confrontation. We can excuse ourselves of habits that need to be faced. I come up with lots of foolish words as to why I cannot lose weight. I love to blame it on my mother who taught me to clean my plate because there are starving children in China who would be glad to have the food I am wasting. So as a proud member of the clean plate club, I to do my part for the starving children in China I clean my plate and everyone else’s in the family.

Maybe a good example of foolish excuses can be illustrated by this –

Ten Reasons Why a Clergyman Stopped Attending Athletic Contests

1. Every time I went, they asked me for money.
2. The people with whom I had to sit didn't seem very friendly.
3. The seats were too hard and not comfortable.
4. The coach never came to call on me.
5. The referee made a decision with which I could not agree.
6. I was sitting with some hypocrites -- they came only to see what others were wearing.
7. Some games went into overtime, and I was late getting home.
8. The band played some numbers that I had never heard before.
9. My parents took me to too many games when I was growing up.
10. Since I read a book on sports, I feel that I know more than the coaches anyhow.

On the bottom of the page was this one-line postscript: "With apologies to those who use these same excuses for not coming to church."