…and How to Let Go of Them (6 Excuses: Part 2)

…and How to Let Go of Them (6 Excuses: Part 2) December 9, 2023

Yesterday, we discussed 6 excuses that make and keep us slaves to sin. Some of you may think I went from preaching to meddling with that one. I can tell you that my feet hurt from stepping on my OWN toes. So without further ado, here are some practical steps to help you (and me) let go of what is holding us back from who God designed us to be.


Yes, You Can above Philippians 4:13 with rocks around the trunk of a tree in the background
Let go of the old habits by forming new ones. (Yay God Ministries/flickr)


I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.] Philippians 4:13 AMP


The Way Out


An effective way out of any bad habit is to replace it with a good one. With that in mind, here are some steps toward spiritual growth that can help us break free from excuses that make us slaves to sin.


  1. Embracing Continuous Learning. When someone asks you why you do something a certain way, rather than get defensive, ask yourself the same question. Is there a better way? Even if your way is a good way, might there not be other good ways? Remember, you don’t know what you don’t know . Therefore, seek Truth by asking questions, meeting new people, and putting your traditions to the test. It hurts to let go of a belief pattern, but sometimes, it’s for the best.
  2. Practice Self-awareness. Just because a majority is doing something, it isn’t necessarily the right thing. Observe them carefully and see if you can discern where their actions will lead. Think actively about whether that destination is one you had in mind for yourself or that God had in mind for you. Become aware of your feelings about going along with the crowd, but also about how you would potentially feel if you faced the consequences they are likely to face. Being mindful and self-aware can help you identify the limiting beliefs and patterns that are keeping you stuck and help you take back control of your own path.
  3. Develop Self-discipline. Once you know what’s holding you back, then you have to do something about it. Break the laziness habit by cultivating the attitude of doing what needs to be done, even when you don’t feel like it. ESPECIALLY when you don’t feel like it. Practice being grateful for Christ’s strength, which carries on after your own has failed. If you have the strength to play games on your phone until you wake yourself up with the sound of the phone hitting the floor after you drop it, then you can do one more right thing before going to bed.
  4. Find Support and Community. If you are seeking and speaking Truth, accept that you will offend people that can´t handle it. But also, be seeking out the people who can. This is your tribe. Hang tough with them. Don’t try to be a Lone Ranger Christian. You need them, and they need you. Besides, it’s the solitary ones that the devil tries to pick off, just like a cheetah going after the antelope that strays from the herd. I am not talking about following a different crowd. I am talking about enjoying the company of peers who share your values and can offer you guidance and support on your journey.
  5. Embrace Vulnerability and Authenticity. This goes hand in hand with #4. The point of having a tribe is having the comfort of being your real self around people who will also be real with you. Of course, this comfort only comes after working through the uncomfortable awkwardness of opening up for the first time, but the freedom it brings is worth it. Growing relationships with others by sharing your true self helps you grow by feeding both your self-awareness and your self-image.
  6. Celebrate Progress and Forgive Setbacks. If you´ll forgive me a cliche, life is a marathon, not a sprint. You didn´t form these bad habits in one day, and you´re not going to break them in one day either. So embrace the journey. Celebrate the baby steps, because one baby step a day in the right direction keeps you moving toward your goal. Expect to make mistakes on account of not being perfect. Rather than beat yourself up over the things you get wrong, simply resolve not to do it that way again, and keep moving forward. You don’t fix your busted face  by walking into the tree over and over. Walk around the tree, and let your face heal on its own time. You are not in charge of your results. You are not in charge of your limitations. You are only in charge of your efforts and your attitude. For everything you legitimately can´t do, there is something else that you can. Find it, then do it. Some days will be better than others. Some days, one baby step will be all you can handle. So handle it. Then celebrate the fact that you are one baby step farther along than you were yesterday.

The Journey to Freedom in Christ


This journey, of course, never ends. We can move toward Christ’s likeness every day of our lives, but sin prevents us from achieving that perfection as long as we are still in the flesh. That doesn’t mean we have to use our fallen condition as an excuse to remain slaves to sin, however. As Jesus said:


Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:34-36 NIV)


Therefore, persevere with the baby steps, and let Jesus carry you on the big ones. Cultivating this habit will make the old, bad habits fade into insignificance.


Do you have a story about how you broke free from excuses in your quest for spiritual growth? Please share it in the comments below. And don´t forget to click that Free Newsletter link so that you can keep up with what´s coming next week!


P.S. A note on comments—It has come to my attention that the heading under which Patheos has placed my column (Evangelical) is a trigger word for those afflicted with Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS), as evidenced by the fact that fully half of the comments I get on my posts are rants about Donald Trump, each bearing an eerie resemblance to one another, and having nothing whatsoever to do with the articles that I have written. Although I do allow, and even welcome, dissenting viewpoints on my posts, any comment that shows more evidence of brainwashing than critical thought will bring the immediate and unrelenting wrath of the BANHAMMER. Thanks for understanding.



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