Big dreams are followed by big excitement which is followed by big plans…and sometimes, in youth ministry, all of this is followed by big failures.

Failure is a reality on this side of eternity. Since the introduction of shame, we have been making excuses for our train wrecks.

Excuses are natural. One person asks, “Why didn’t that work?” and the excuses unfold quickly like an umbrella in the rain.

Everyone makes excuses, but not everyone treats them the same.

For most of us, excuses:

  • prop up our brused egos,
  • reinforce our self-deceptions, and
  • support the superficial facade we’re presenting to the world.

In this, we stay stuck. Stagnant. Inert. Once again, Status Quo wins again.

What if it were different? Not just by:

  • ignoring them (“You can do it! Don’t let it get you down!”) or
  • by trying harder (“next time, give it a little more effort, and you’ll succeed”) or
  • praying them away (“God, please don’t let me fail”).

These options aren’t bad. But I think we can squeeze something out of our excuses:

  • Let’s see them in the light of insight, and
  • view our excuses as our new avenue of growth.

Go on, try it for yourself. Think about your last failure. Be unashamed to make as many excuses as possible.

Then be mortified to let them become a prision.