If making excuses doesn’t justify sin, then why do we do it? Here are some of the common excuses people have given bosses for their behavior at work: “It’s not my fault;” “It was someone else’s fault;” “Something else came up;” “I didn’t have time;” “No one told me to do it;” “If only my supervisor really understood;” and “No one showed me how to do it.”

Here are some excuses drivers have given one insurance company for their accidents:

A pedestrian hit me and went under my car.

The guy was all over the place. I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him.

As I approached the intersection, a stop sign suddenly appeared in a place where no stop sign had ever appeared before. I was unable to stop in time to avoid the accident.

The pedestrian had no idea which direction to go, so I ran him over.

Making excuses for sin is about as foolish as blaming a pedestrian for causing you to drive over him. Each of us has to give account to God for our own sins. We shouldn’t blame anyone else, or use the sins of others to justify our wrongdoing. Yet that is exactly what we do. It’s a part of human nature passed down to us from Adam. We aren’t naturally willing to accept responsibility for our wrongdoing, so we blame others.

God isn’t convinced by our excuses. In fact, our excuses are barriers to restored fellowship with Him. He wants us to agree with Him about our sins (confess them); and one by one, the barriers will be removed. Then we can move forward and serve Him.

Have you been making excuses for your sins? Maybe you have been blaming your parents for sins you struggle with today. You may have sinned after getting involved with the wrong crowd, and now you are blaming your friends for the consequences you face. It’s not until you stop making excuses and own up to your sins that you can move forward. God is ready to forgive. The question is, are you ready to move on?

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder