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Avoiding lame excuses is a key life skill that we manage with varying degrees of success.

Most of us typically reject the temptation to hide our laziness or selfishness behind the facade of some external threat or circumstantial fluke.

But none of us are perfect at this.

Even the strongest Christian has moments when someone asks him or her about why this or that hasn’t been done and then, rather than acknowledge a temporarily selfish moment, the believer points the finger at a quickly concocted excuse.

Our responsibility as believers is to do our best for others — including God — at all times. Our reality is that we don’t meet that test at times with volunteer tasks at church or in a neighbor’s overgrown yard or with a single mom relative who needs a day-long break from watching her kids.

“I’ll help you some other time,” we say to soothe our consciences, but then we don’t.

We must realize that integrity is a prerequisite for influence.

If you and I are to have the influence for Christ that God desires and the unsaved world needs, we must resist the temptation to be like the person King Solomon described in Proverbs 22:13.

“The sluggard says, ‘There’s a lion outside! I’ll be killed in the public square!'”

It’s a dishonorable thing to be known as a sluggard, a King James-style word for lazy bum.

Solomon is not advising that we step outside to fight a lion over a bag of groceries. Rather, Solomon is mocking the attitude that rejects the call to work because of a statistically unlikely event that might happen.

The term “public square” is key in discerning Solomon’s message.

This wasn’t about a man refusing to go into a mountain forest in search of mushrooms for a wife who wanted a gourmet salad. Such a solo trek would have been risky in Bible days.

This instead was about a guy who wouldn’t even go out his front door to the public market in search of work where all sorts of people would be milling around and a mountain lion would be the LAST thing one would expect to see.

And that doesn’t even consider the fact that with so many people in the square to choose from, the lion’s chomping on the sluggard would be even more unlikely to occur.

Please pray for any sluggards that you know. They’re in need of spiritual transformation in order to be set free from bondage to excuses.

And please join me in praying for revelation in how we slip periodically into being sluggard-like.

There’s too much to do for the Kingdom to spend our time cooking up excuses as to why we can’t.

As always, I love you

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