The excuses we use to fool ourselves

R. Alan Culpepper says: “The most dangerous excuses are those with which we fool ourselves.”*


Excuses are escape hatches. We use them to somehow excuse ourselves from doing what is right. We excuse a way of thinking, or speaking, or a habit, or a decision, or whatever.

As a result we compromise our integrity. Integrity has to do with wholeness. The word itself comes from “integer,” meaning a whole number. In this case, it refers to a whole person—someone who seeks to be whole-hearted and thoroughly consistent with their thoughts, words and actions under God.

In Psalm 25:21, David writes: “May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, LORD, is in you.” His pursuit of integrity tethers him to the ways of the God who is his hope. If he is not acting with integrity, then he is seeking to please someone (or something) other than God. When that happens the integer becomes a fraction.

Be honest. Are there excuses in your life—even ones you are reluctant to admit—which you use to excuse yourself from doing what is right?

“The most dangerous excuses are those with which we fool ourselves.”

May integrity and uprightness protect you and tether you to the ways of God.


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–*R. Alan Culpepper, Luke: The New Interpreter’s Bible: Volume IX (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1995), 291.

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