We don’t really intend to be dishonest…Our intent is not to lie…but without even thinking, we say one of these two things…and just like that we have lied not only to other people, but to ourselves.
What are the biggest lies we tell?
#1 – I don’t have time. Listen, I know life is busy. Whether you are married or not…a parent or not…an employee or not…a homeowner or not, I understand that life is very full – full of responsibilities and obligations that can leave us feeling as if we don’t have a minute to spare – especially in certain seasons of life. However, we can not ignore the fact that we are all given the same amount of minutes in a day. We are all gifted with the same amount of hours in which to accomplish the things that we need/want to do.
So when faced with the temptation to flippantly tell someone “I don’t have time for ______ .”, think carefully. Do you really not have time? Or do you simply not want to make the time? Do you really not have time? Or do you need to omit some other things from your schedule in order to create the time? Be honest with yourself.
I have been guilty of using this comment as a go-to excuse…or as a way to rationalize my way out of a situation…and if you’re honest with yourself, you’ve probably done the same thing. I don’t have time to go to the gym. Sure, I had time. I just chose to watch tv instead. I don’t have time to bake cookies for the party. Sure, I did. I just didn’t really want to do it. I don’t have time to volunteer at church. Sure, I do. I just need to limit the number of other activities I’m allowing in to my weekend schedule.
You see what I mean? So many times “I don’t have time.” is used as an excuse…a cop-out…a quick little lie that we let roll off our tongue when maybe we need to take a close look at our calendar. How are we spending the days…the moments we’ve been given? Do we need to step away from some things that while they may be good things, they are not leaving time for the very best things that God wants us to be doing with our time? Or do we need to be more honest when we’re asked about a commitment and instead of saying, “I don’t have time.” say, “I’m not choosing to make time for that right now.” Ooo…there are times when that takes some guts. I’m tellin’ ya, I’ve been trying to practice this discipline more, and it’s not always easy.
Well, friends, we can’t chat about time without also talking about money.
#2 – I can’t afford that. Yes, this is the other big lie we tell. Once again, I get it. Money doesn’t grow on trees. Most of us have not been given an unlimited amount of disposable income with which to spend on anything and everything our heart desires, but hear me out – “I can’t afford that.” has become another go-to excuse we use.
When invited to go on a family vacation that we really don’t want to take, we’ll say, “I can’t afford that.” When asked to go in on a gift for someone we don’t really like, we’ll say, “I can’t afford that.” When asked to give to our church’s benevolence fund, we’ll say, “I can’t afford that.”
Sure, we may not want to spend money on these things, and in some situations, that’s absolutely okay – except for the whole benevolence fund thing. (You’re hearing what I’m saying, right?) For the most part, we are free to spend our money however we wish (while hopefully being wise and generous and obedient in the process), buuuuuuut, instead of saying “I can’t afford that.” maybe we should try something like, “We’ve chosen to budget our money differently this year.”
You see, I don’t want to be so quick to throw out these kinds of excuses that when God asks me to do something big, I respond to him with “I don’t have time.” or “I can’t afford that.”
I want to be ready…for all that He has for me…whether it be big or small.
As a result of feeling frustrated when I hear other people say these kinds of things, I’ve had to confront myself with some hard questions and train myself to think differently; and while it may be easier for me to respond to you with something about how I don’t have the time or money to do something, I’m committed to answering in a more honest way.
So if you hear me say something like
“This year, I’ve decided to spend my time focused more on ______ instead of ______ .”
“In the coming months, we are saving for ______ or ______ .”
you will know exactly what I’m trying to do.
Preachin’ to the Choir
Has anyone else been guilty of this? Or is it just me?
P.S. Looking for a book that will help you in this area? Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend forever changed my life…
…and if you stick around here for long, you will probably hear me recommend it at least ten thousand more times!