Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to Your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! Psalm 51:1-2
From the time Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the snake for their sinful situation, people have made excuses.
Of course, not all of our excuses are as pitiful as that which recently came out of Wilkinsburg, Penn.
Police have reported that two men got into a fender bender. The fender bender prompted an argument. That's a scenario which is repeated 100 times a day. Thankfully, what followed next doesn't happen all that often.
In the midst of the argument one of the men, David Bush, pulled a gun and shot the other fellow in the leg. Then he shot the man in the other leg. Then, while the fellow was lying on the ground, Bush shot him a few more times.
Eventually, Bush was captured and he made an excuse which has to be among the year's ten most lame.
Bush said, "I didn't want to kill him. After I shot him, I made sure he was alive."
Now, Bush may think his concern makes things all better. I think the man he shot -- and the state of Pennsylvania -- will disagree.
If we're being honest, we have to admit that while many of our excuses aren't as cold as that of Bush, they are just as ineffective.
That's why God doesn't want to hear our excuses. He wants to hear the confession of our repentant hearts. He doesn't want to be told why we did something; He wants us to admit our need for a Savior and the forgiveness He alone can offer.
So that we might be forgiven was why Jesus was born, lived His life, suffered, died and was buried. So we might be assured His work was completed and all who believe are saved, Jesus rose from the dead. Now to those who believe in Him and live their lives in heartfelt contrition, there is God's promise of forgiveness and eternal life.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, in Your mercy and because of Jesus' work, I ask that You will blot out my many sins. Let my heart be confronted by sin and let me confess my need for Your grace and Son. Let my days be filled with thanks for Your love and not excuses for my wrongdoings. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries