Mr. Alexander wouldn’t let me off the hook. I had a habit of making excuses for my irresponsible actions.
I realize now that my behavior stemmed from a reluctance to obey authority. It wasn’t blaringly obvious, but it fueled my occasional tardiness and lack of excellence in the classroom.
When I would walk through the door to Mr. Alexander’s office, ready to give an array of excuses for being late, he would say, “Close the door and read the sign.” The sign on the back of the door read:
Excuses are tools of incompetence
that build monuments of nothingness
Those who are good at excuses
are seldom good at anything else. After having to read that sign in my teacher’s office more than a hundred times, I began to see some real change in my habits. I wasn’t “cured” overnight, but I did begin to take responsibility for my actions.
Mr. Alexander would say, “When you make excuses for poor behavior or for lack of obedience of a command, you are seeking to persuade the other party to be okay with your behavior and lack of consideration of their time. “ Wow.
Obedience is crucial in every arena of life.
It is one of the highest forms of responsible living. We all have a higher authority we must submit to, and ultimately, as a believer, God is that authority. But if we can’t obey those who are in natural authority over us, chances are we aren’t following God very well either.
Take time to do a self-examination of your attitude. You might even ask your spouse or a close friend to help you (if you are really brave). Are there areas in your life where you are making excuses for disobedient behavior?
If you find anything, don’t let shame beat you up. Just tell God you apologize and ask for His help. Start practicing by “letting your yes be yes and letting your no be no.” (Matthew 5:37) The following “I WILLS” from Character First help enforce an obedient attitude:
I WILL obey my authorities immediately
I WILL have a cheerful attitude
I WILL complete all that I am expected to do
I WILL not complain
I WILL go the extra mile
When he gets them all out, he leads them and they follow because they are familiar with his voice. John 10:4 The Message
Biblical Meditation: John 15:14 You are my friends if you do what I command.