Excuse vs. Reason

Posted: March 23, 2013 in Just Me
Tags: , , , ,

What’s the real & honest difference between the two?

Excuse:  the explanation given for bad behavior, absence, etc.:  (a) You’re always making excuses for not helping with the housework. (http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/american-english/excuse_2)

Reason:  the cause of an event or situation, or something suggested as an explanation: (a) She had never stopped by before for any reason. (b) There must be a reason why she’s not here yet. (http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/american-english/reason_1?q=reason)

I know, I know. Two very hard words to distinguish….but, what if you’re telling your kids you’re tired of their excuses and they tell you, “no matter what reason I give, you think it’s an excuse. When is it actually a reason?”  Yes, that’s how this research started. It actually brought back a harsh memory for me when I would tell this certain boss, of mine, my valid reason for something and would ALWAYS get this reply: “you’re justifying, stop justifying!”  I hated it! Just like my kids are hating it, from me, now! Am I seriously doing to them what I couldn’t stand done to me!

Another reason this distinction came up is that I’ve started training for my first 5K Walk and I’m trying very hard not to make excuses. It’d be way too easy.     “I’m almost 50; My bones hurt;  I have misaligned hips; I get too cold outside; I’m busy; etc.”  So, instead I try to focus on the facts: “I’m doing it; I’ve already achieved more than sitting on the couch; I’m not stopping now; I have to do this; My daughter’s doing it with me; There are thousands other women doing it too and some of them are in much worse shape physically than I am so I have no excuses.”   See, I don’t respond well to “tough love” so I hesitated in telling “wanna-be, self-appointed  coaches.” (probably because deep down I know they won’t buy my “excuses”)  Reality: I’m realizing the differences between excuses and reasons when it comes to this part of my life and it’s been great.

I have to face the differences between these 2 words because I’m implementing new and “scary” changes into my life this year. I have dreams to see become reality. I want challenges and achievements bigger than my fears. In order to accomplish these things I can’t give excuses!

For example, life long dream of being a professional photographer. I finally have a great camera that’s capable of doing all sorts of fun things so I have no more excuses for poor photography skills. I love taking pictures but hope and dream of becoming professional one day. So, I have to make sure the excuses don’t prevent me from learning what I must to be better.  I can’t be afraid to fail in order to learn.   A very good reason that keeps popping up is that I’m not capable of retaining things quite like I used to when I was younger (a few short years ago). I can learn something one day and totally forget how to use it as a technique the very next day. Very frustrating but I can’t let it stop me.

Another challenge has been to even know how to apply for a position within my dream zone. I had the chance to apply for an amateur photographer position with a local online news program (mostly nights & weekends). Petrified, I prayed asking God to show me if I was putting my dreams above His plans. I begged Him to show me if He could use my lack of skills to sharpen me and make my dream a reality while actually earning money and growing another person’s business. I wanted every bit of this to come from God and not from me. (otherwise I’d get in the way – me and my ton of excuses) I actually had an email interview with the guy (over a span of about 2 hours) who placed the ad and had to fight a sick stomach the entire time. Fortunately, for me, I could hide behind the computer screen. It’s been a few years since my last job and I knew this day would come again with our oldest wanting a car and close to graduating. I’ve lived one of my dreams by staying home with my 2 kids and being able to home school them but to face having to go back out in the work-world scares me too death. Boy! Are the excuses bombarding me: “I’m committed to home schooling and can’t do this job during those hours, even though my kids are very self-reliant; I am involved with our youth at church on Wed. nights; I teach Yearbook Staff on Thursdays; I have Bible Study on Monday nights (just thought of that one); etc.)  I finally had to tell God that if He wants me to have this position then He has to help me remove the excuses and the fear and replace it with faith and ability. I keep thinking of that verse:”may he equip you with all you need  for doing his will. May he produce in you,  through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him.  All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.” Hebrews 13:21 NLT   I have to take comfort in that verse and know the good He has in store for me:  “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

So, my challenge to you, is the same as it was for me:

Be able to distinguish the real, honest difference between excuse and reason,

then do everything possible, with God’s help, to extinguish the excuses!

Cling to: Phil. 4:13 NLT “For I can do everything through Christ,who gives me strength.”

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