Smoke's danger comes from the lack of visibility. A smokescreen can cover up a situation so that we can not clearly see what is happening. As long as we can produce enough smoke from our excuses, we will hide ourselves in the sphere of irresponsibility.
Excuses rob us of hope and solutions
Before we can clearly see our situation, we must clear away the excuses that act like a smoke screen. Put even more clearly, until we stop making excuses for ourselves, we will not be able to leave our anxieties.
Excuses blame everyone but ourselves. Why? We are too prideful to admit that our problems are do to our wrong decisions and actions. Instead of facing up to our true selves and God's solutions, we make lousy excuses.
Here are three common excuses for not dealing with our anxieties. Are they true with you?
My circumstances are difficult.
When we blame our difficult circumstances for our worries, we will only engender a more frustrated heart.
We say in our heart,
- If I had more money, ...
- If I had better health, ...
- If I could of got in that degree problem, I wouldn't have to worry about getting a job.
The list does not end here!
But worries are so available, that it doesn't matter what situation we are in. We can worry. Excuses distort our vision. Instead we should say,
"I am sorry, Lord. I have failed You by worrying. I haven't trusted you in this area of my life."
Later in today's presentation, we will look at how Jesus worry free handled a difficult situation full with all the anticipation and stress of surrounding people upon His life.
My background is different.
Some of us are trained to use our backgrounds to make excuses for our own behavior. For example, studies verify that our childhood situation greatly influences our adult lives. The Bible says this in Deuteronomy!
Unfortunately, we use this to produce the 'I can't help it' mentality rather than the "God forgive me and help me" prayer.
By saying they 'can't help it', they are stating that there are no solutions for their problem of worry.
Worry can be helpful.
This excuse will be covered on the next slide.
In each case, we are destined to a life of despair and depression unless we can turn our focus away from our circumstances. This is impossible on our own but the psalmist has shown it is possible with God.
Let's now look at the third excuse, perhaps the most dangerous because of its popularity. Next page