1 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.” 3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days’ journey in breadth. 4 Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” 5 And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them. Jonah 3:1-5
What Happens When We Own Our Excuses?
- We can repent and go in a different direction
- We put ourselves in position to be greatly used by God
- We may influence others to repent
- God shows mercy and grace to us and others
6 The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water, 8 but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. 9 Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.” 10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it. Jonah 3:6-10
What Stops Us from Owning Our Excuses?
- We find it hard to admit we are wrong
- We are lying to ourselves
- Un-owned excuses are sometimes part of our heritage
- Fear is probably the root cause for most of our excuses
How Do We Manage the Excuse of Fear?
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Proverbs 1:7a
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
How to Own Your Fears & Excuses
- Excuse journaling
- Ask questions to dig into the why behind your excuses
- Own your excuses
- Start by admitting your excuses
- From God’s Word, learn or obey what is true
- Turn from your past sins and reject the influence of the sins of your family
- Fear / Reverence God who can make your paths straight