Excuses don't Excuse us

Busy. Swamped. Hustle & bustle. Full. Hectic. Exhausted. Spent. Drained. Worn out. Tuckered out. Tired. Overwhelmed.

I’m going to say something that sounds harsh. None of these are enough of an excuse. These feelings are not sufficient to get us out of putting others above ourselves. Stick with me…I’ll explain what I mean.

Here in America we live in a culture of full schedules and endless running. We’re running behind, running errands, running on caffeine, or running on empty. Every woman I know works out of the home, for a business from home, is a entrepreneur, or homemaking is her work. Add to that hobbies, a social schedule and/or church & volunteer commitments and not a single one of us is twiddling our thumbs wishing for something to do.

As a speaker, writer, stay-at-home mom of two small children, pastor’s wife, & Sunday school teacher I have a full plate. Any given week I average about 4-6 “free” hours where I am not needed by someone. That’s less than an hour a day. I don’t say this to garner sympathy. I say it to say “solidarity sister”! My life isn’t more full than yours. We are all operating at near-maximum velocity! It is tiring, overwhelming and exhausting. BUT!! all of our busyness doesn’t negate these commands of Christ:

Love one another - John 13:34, Romans 12:10, 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

Encourage one another - 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Hebrews 10:25, Galatians 6:2

Show hospitality - Romans 12:13, 1 Peter 4:9, Hebrews 13:2

Deny yourself - Luke 9:32, 2 Corinthians 5:15, Galatians 2:20

See, our excuses don’t excuse us. No matter how valid our excuse may be, they are not more powerful than the commands of Christ! Being in a hurry does not excuse my rude behavior to a store clerk. Being tired is not an excuse to say unkind things to my family. Similarly, I do not get to pass on taking a meal to a new mom simply because it’s not convenient. I do not get to brush off that fringe friend just because I can barely manage finding time to hang out with my long-term friends. I do not get to fail to love well on purpose because I’m tired, introverted, busy or any other excuse.

Do we have limits? ABSOLUTELY!!! And we do well to live within those limits! However, when we look at Christ we see that he definitely took time away from the crowds, but never stopped having eyes to see the broken people along his way. Friends…too often we use our excuses of being too tired or too busy to stop seeing the needs around us! Taking a meal to someone who’s just had surgery takes a small amount of time. You can order a container of soup and a salad from Panera on your phone, have it ready upon arrival and take it to that person and not use up more than an hour of your time. You can text that fringe friend and set up a date to finally get together in 3 weeks when your schedule lightens up in under a minute.

I know this is my soap box and I’ll gladly step up on it every time! Loving well on purpose, aka biblical hospitality, is a mandate from scripture!! Show hospitality. Show it without grumbling. Show it and, who knows, maybe you’ll entertain angels. Show hospitality if you’re busy, tired, drained, swamped, tuckered out, or running on empty.

One of the best ways I know to show hospitality is to think about what my soul is craving, and then love someone in that way. For instance, when I wish someone would text me randomly and ask me how I’m doing, I text a friend to check-in on them and see how they’re doing. I remember my friend Katie who drove out of her way to bring me a casserole after my son was born and how it still ministers to my soul almost 7 years later. In remembering, I find joy in taking a meal to someone who can use it even when it’s time out of my day. (I’ve made several new friends this way and it’s great!!) Take a few minutes to think about when you felt most loved. Remember how a simple gesture ministered to your soul. Now, go and do the same for someone else!!!