Answer: WE MAKE EXCUSES
Benjamin Franklin said, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”
The writer of Proverbs wrote, “The lazy man is full of excuses. “I can’t go to work!” he says. “If I go outside, I might meet a lion in the street and be killed!”
Try that one with your boss.
Soren Kierkegaard talks seriously how excuses damage our world when he says, “For like a poisonous breath over the fields, like a mass of locusts over Egypt, so the swarm of excuses is a general plaque, a ruinous infection among men, that eats off the sprouts of the Eternal.”
Excuses, we have all have them and make them.
There are 3 that stop miracles.
Excuse #1: What difference can I make?
The statistics seem overwhelming.
The problems seem insurmountable.
The odds seem to be against us.
There are more people in slavery today than in the 18th century:
Trafficking is the third largest illegal trade behind illegal weapon trade and drugs.
Every fourteen seconds a child is orphaned by AIDS.
500,000 children are in foster care in the United States; 118,000 are eligible for adoption.
Over 70% of sex trafficking in U.S. comes from kids who have aged out of the foster system.
Seemingly overwhelming statistics paralyze us and influence us to ask the question, “What difference can I make”, which ultimately then turns into an excuse to do nothing.
When Jesus told us to follow him for the sake of the hurting, the poor and those who are facing horrific injustice, he didn’t say to do it if it looks like you can make a difference.
He just said, “Follow Me.”
And when he did, people made excuses about why they couldn’t.
And his response to them was, “No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.”
Miracles happen when we seize the day and act in obedience to a need, against all odds, simply because it is the right thing to do.
We can and are making a much bigger difference than we think.
Dr. Scott Todd writes, “We can end extreme poverty in our lifetime and see God get the credit and we can do it engaging and practical ways of putting our faith into action to impact our world.”
In the last 30 years, extreme poverty has been cut in half from 52% to 26%. (Miracle)
Between 1990 and 2010, maternal mortality worldwide dropped by almost 50%. (Miracle)
AIDS related deaths are down 24%. (Miracle)
But more miracles can happen if everyone of faith will change the question from “What difference can I make?” to “How many miracles will happen if I choose to be obedient with what I’ve been given?”
The potential miracles are mind-blowing!
If 1 out of every 3 churches in America would find one family to adopt one kid there would be no orphans in America:
If the 138 million American Christians who attend church at least twice per month were to tithe, their income is 2.5 trillion, it would result in 250 billion dollars per year in philanthropy.
World renown economist Jeffrey Sachs says that we could eradicate stupid, preventable poverty with just 78 billion dollars a year.
Imagines the miracles, which seem insurmountable, if we are just simply obedient!
“No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.”
Excuse #2: It’s too hard
Helen Keller became deaf & blind at the age of 19 months, but grew up and became the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Sydney J. Harris says, “When I hear somebody sigh, ‘Life is hard,’ I am always tempted to ask, ‘Compared to what?’”
Most things worth doing in this life are hard.
Most things that change the world are hard.
Miracles are God intervening when we are willing to do the hard work.
Dr. Troy Dickson and his wife Kim, she has a degree in global health, moved with their two daughters from their comfortable home and lifestyle in California, to the intense and difficult streets of New Delhi, India to help start, against all odds, a home for girls who can be rescued from the horrors of sex trafficking.
With so much government bureaucracy, red tape and a culture of ignoring this horrific injustice, Troy and Kim decided that no matter how hard and seemingly impossible this might be, they said yes to the challenge and within a year, Courage Homes opened and the miracles have begun.
This email came from the directors when the home had just opened: “Just wanted to rejoice and share with you, and beg for your prayers! Courage Homes in India just got EIGHT girls from a brothel raid on GB Road (big red light district in Delhi) yesterday! That puts us at 12 girls, which is our bed capacity right now. We have a high profile case right now, which has resulted in a lot of arrests of people in the trafficking rings and awakened the whole nation to the issues of trafficking – laws are even being changed because of it. God is definitely in the middle of what we are doing! Our licensing procedures are being sped up because the government is really recognizing the value of a home devoted to the healing of these girls, and only because the home has been so safe and nurturing have the girls been willing to testify against the perpetrators and tell their stories. It’s amazing!”
I heard a former FBI agent and now an employee of International Justice Mission who is on the front lines of rescuing girls from sex trafficking in some of the most dangerous places in the world say, “Find out the hard things God is asking you to do and do them. It will be the greatest thing you will ever do.”
Watch this 2 minute video before we get to the last excuse that stops us from seeing miracles.
Excuse #3: I’m too old or I’m too young to make a difference
The video you just watched ends this argument.
Throughout the history of the world, God has used the young and the old alike to bring about change and progress.
Anne Frank was 12 when she wrote the diary of Anne Frank.
God spoke through a little boy named Samuel in order to correct the evil religious leaders who were ignoring justice.
Nelson Mandela was 76 when he became president of South Africa.
Abraham and Sarah had been collecting social security for years when she gave birth to Isaac.
Albert Einstein was only 26 when he wrote the theory of relativity
Josiah became the king of Israel when he was only 8 years old, eventually purging Israel of idols and leading a spiritual revival.
Dr. Seuss was 54 when he wrote “The Cat in the Hat”
JRR Tolkien was 62 when the “The Lord of the Rings” books came out.
My friend, Eldon Bough, at the age of 86, serves 75 meals weekly with “Meals on Wheels” to the elderly and sponsors 22 children through Compassion International, helping to create a huge dent in eradicating child poverty.
Martin Luther King Jr. was only 34 when he gave the speech “I have a dream”
Jesus of Nazareth was only 33 when he saved the world.
It is never too soon and it is never too late to be a part of a miracle. It just takes eliminating the excuses.
What are some of the excuses in your life that are keeping you from being a part of a miracle?
“I am only one. But still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something: Yet, just because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something I can.” Helen Keller