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Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

"When all was ready, he sent his servant around to notify the guests that it was time for them to come. But they all began making excuses. One said he had just bought a field and wanted to inspect it, so he asked to be excused. Another said he had just bought five pair of oxen and wanted to try them out"1

"Douglas Bernstein, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois, recently asked faculty members for the 'most unusual, bizarre and amazing student excuses' they had ever heard. He got dozens." Following are a few:

"An old favorite, but one professor's class established some sort of record when 14 out of 250 students reported their grandmothers' deaths just before final exams. In another class a student reported that he could not take the mid-term because his grandmother had died. When the instructor expressed condolences a week later, the student replied, 'Oh, don't worry. She was terminal, but she's feeling much better now.'

"I had an accident, the police impounded the car, and my paper is in the glove compartment."

"I can't be at the exam because my cat is having kittens, and I'm her coach."

"I need to take the final early because the husband of the woman I'm seeing is threatening to kill me."2

Excuses go all the way back to Adam and Eve who said when they blew it, "The devil made me do it." Yeah. Right!
Sir Walter Scott put it realistically when he wrote, "Oh, what tangled webs we weave / When first we practice to deceive."

Of one thing we can be sure. God sees all and knows all. We can never deceive him. There will be no excuses when we stand before him on our final examination day, "As it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment."3 To make sure you are prepared for your final exam be sure to read, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" online at:

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please deliver me from the self-deception of excuses. Help me always to tell the truth and accept responsibility for my foul-ups. And above all, help me to admit and confess to you all my failures and sins and seek your forgiveness. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Luke 14:17-19 (NLT).
2. Dynamic Illustrations, Mar/Apr 1995. Cited in a sermon by Rev. Dr. David E. Leininger.
3. Hebrews 9:27 (NKJV).


All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.