No Excuses

by | Feb 11, 2019

I failed a friend. Badly. No, not just badly … very badly.

It took me a while to face it. When I finally realized what I’d done, embarrassment kept me from going to talk with him right away. So now I was doubly wrong. Failed to support him, and failed to admit it even when I knew I should.

Finally, my conscience got so loud that I had to talk with him. As I went, I mentally composed an explanation. I knew nothing could justify or excuse my wrong, but I thought it would help if I explained the circumstances that had made it difficult for me to be there for him during a painful transition.

Hands iStock_000020266152Small bBut as soon as I saw his face, I knew my explanation was worthless. No explanation was going to change his perception of my failing him or soften the pain I’d caused. Besides, I knew that an explanation would only seem like I was trying to justify or excuse my actions … which is exactly what I longed to do, but which would be of no help to my friend.

So I simply said, “I really failed you during the reorganization. I should have come and talked to you right away. My absence and silence must have hurt you deeply. I have no excuse or explanation. I failed you as a manager and I failed you as a friend. I was wrong, and I’m so very sorry. Can you please forgive me?”

His eyes softened as he said, “That’s all I needed to hear. I know you didn’t mean to let me down, but it helps to hear you admit you did. Jesus has forgiven me far worse things, so yes, I gladly forgive you. This is behind us; let’s move on.”

And that was the end of it. No explanation. No excuses. Grace flowed. We were back on course. Ministering together better than ever.

Simple, sincere confessions, without excuses … a great way to take hold of the promise:

“He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy” (Prov. 28:13).

Ken Sande

Reflection Questions (Most effective when shared with a friend; James 1:22-25)

  • Why do we all long to offer “explanations” for our failures?
  • How do you feel when people try to explain their wrongs against you?
  • What was the most healing confession you’ve heard? What made it so helpful?
  • How can a deeper understanding of the gospel free us from the desire to excuse our wrongs?

Permission to distribute: Please feel free to download, print, or electronically share this message in its entirety for non-commercial purposes with as many people as you like.

© 2019 Ken Sande

Would you like to receive future posts like this? Subscribe now!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this post

Related Posts

The Last Human Freedom

The Last Human Freedom

“The last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitude.” So wrote Viktor Frankl, an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist who survived the Holocaust, living through the deprivation and horrors of both Auschwitz and Dachau. Consider the background for his writing...

17 Ways to Respond to Explosive Politics

17 Ways to Respond to Explosive Politics

In a little over a week, millions of people will be rejoicing or weeping as the 2020 political season comes to its climactic end. The emotions that are now building to a crescendo will not dissipate quickly or harmlessly. Many family, workplace and church...

Can You Read Faces and Eyes?

Can You Read Faces and Eyes?

Thirty-two years ago a trial attorney read a distressed look in my eyes and responded in a way that changed the course of my life. The ability to read the emotions in others' eyes is super-valuable today, since so many of the faces we see each day are covered with...

0
    0
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop