As we look at the actions or inaction’s of life, and
especially in the Church, we can see some REASONS for
why things happen or don’t happen.....and we also can see
some EXCUSES for why things happen or don’t happen.
A. When I first thought of this subject, I was narrowly
applying it to just one aspect of life...but as I thought
about it, I realized that this is true in respect to
ALL aspects of life.
1. It is true in the physical sense and it equally
applies to spiritual things, as well.
The amazing thing about my observations is this one fact....
understanding that EVERYTHING cannot be reduced to
this one fact....but I did notice that all of the explanations
and all of the excuses incorporate words that begin with the
A. I am not trying to be “cutesie” with this....it really
took form this way.
1. Extrapolating even further....could it be that
the problem can all be boiled down to one flaw?
a. We will have more on this thought in our
I. People do or don’t do what should be done...what needs
to be done...what MUST be done...because they are
A. They just don’t seem to care.
1. Things that are really pressing...very important...
vital to their well-being.........just don’t SEEM
TO BE IMPORTANT.......IT JUST DOESN’T
a. The reality of the matter is that the situation
.....the importance or possible danger.....is
not being realized..........false perceptions have
lulled this person into a false sense of security,
peace, or fulfillment.
1.) If they could actually SEE OR
PERCEIVE the importance and/or the
danger, ..........they would certainly take
a different stance.
Note :Num. 22:23-34 - 23Now the donkey saw the
Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn
sword in His hand, and the donkey turned aside out of the
way and went into the field. So Balaam struck the donkey
to turn her back onto the road. 24Then the Angel of the
Lord stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a
wall on this side and a wall on that side. 25And when the
donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she pushed herself
against the wall and crushed Balaam’s foot against the
wall; so he struck her again. 26Then the Angel of the Lord
went further, and stood in a narrow place where there was
no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. 27And
when the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she lay down
under Balaam; so Balaam’s anger was aroused, and he
struck the donkey with his staff.
28Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and
she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you
have struck me these three times?” 29And Balaam said to
the donkey, “Because you have abused me. I wish there
were a sword in my hand, for now I would kill you!” 30So
the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey on
which you have ridden, ever since I became yours, to this
day? Was I ever disposed to do this to you?” And he said,
31Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the
Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn
sword in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell flat on
his face. 32And the Angel of the Lord said to him, “Why
have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I
have come out to stand against you, because your way is
perverse before Me. 33“The donkey saw Me and turned
aside from Me these three times. If she had not turned aside
from Me, surely I would also have killed you by now, and
let her live.” 34And Balaam said to the Angel of the Lord,
“I have sinned, for I did not know You stood in the way
against me. Now therefore, if it displeases You, I will turn
II. Another reason for why people do or don’t do, lies in
the fact that they are INCOGITANT...OR
A. While these two words are very closely related, they
are not especially the same.
1. Incogitant means thoughtless.
a. A person can just not think through what they
are doing or not doing.
1.) They may not even realize how their
actions (or lack of action) will affect those
a.) The end result may be the same as that
produced by an inconsiderate person,
but it will probably be unintentional....
2. The inconsiderate person is different.
a. This person DOES KNOW HOW THINGS
WILL AFFECT OTHERS.....he just doesn’t
1.) This person does not.....or will not....
consider the impact of his actions on
a.) This person has forgotten the
the Words of Christ found in
Matt. 7:12 and Matt. 22:38-39:
Matt. 7:12 - 12“Therefore, whatever you want men to do to
you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Matt. 22:38-39 - 38“This is the first and great
commandment. 39“And the second is like it: ‘You shall
love your neighbor as yourself.’
** There is no way that a person can be showing the
love of God and fellow man when he completely
ignores the impact that he has on others.
III. We also have the reason that most people try to hide
behind. Sometimes it is true, but it may not suffice
as a legitimate reason....only an excuse......this is the
problem of IGNORANCE.
A. We were all ignorant of something at sometime.
1. As time went on, we were expected to come to
the knowledge that was necessary to make good
decisions and take appropriate actions.
a. Ignorance is like Maple syrup.......a little bit
goes a long way.
1.) There are times when we might not know..
but it is incumbent upon us to make it a
point to know.
Acts 17:30 - 30“Truly, these times of ignorance God
overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to
Eph. 4:17-18 - 17This I say, therefore, and testify in the
Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the
Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18having their
understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of
God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of
the blindness of their heart.
a.) Ignorance of the civil law is said to be
no excuse.........do we expect God to
be any different?
IV. The next problem is related a bit to inconsideration,
but it may be more of a flaw in one’s makeup....rather
than an attitude (such as inconsideration). This
A. Again, the end result may be the same as
incogitance and inconsideration, but it comes about
from not be attuned to the needs and feelings of
1. Generally speaking, this situation comes about
when people are to introspective and don’t
notice their surroundings or the people around
a. You might say that these people walk around
in a fog and really don’t have a clue about
B. Insensitive people leave a wake of hurt feelings
behind them and they may not even realize the
damage that they have done.
1. This damage comes in the form of things
said without any consideration of how it might
impact upon another person.
a. Unlike the inconsiderate person who
really doesn’t care what anybody thinks...
this person really doesn’t
REALIZE what others may feel or think.
2. This problem may also be displayed in the
a. People are left out of invitations...some
are not included in activities or work that
needs to be done............all because of
flawed thinking or no thinking at all,
when it comes to how this will affect
Romans 12:15-16 - 15Rejoice with those who rejoice, and
weep with those who weep. 16Be of the same mind toward
one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but
associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own
V. Next, we come to the INCOMPETENT.
A. Webster defines, “incompetent”, as being not
1. Of all the reasons for problems, this might be
the only one that could be considered, valid...
in some circumstances.
a. Three scenarios arise.
1.) The person who is incompetent
and won’t admit it.... and tries to do
what he/she is not capable of doing.
a.) This almost always ends in
b.) This person could have
admitted the problem and
called in someone who could
have accomplished something.
2.) The person who is incompetent
likes it that way and is not willing
to ever become competent.
a.) Dumb as a Dodo Bird and
likes it that way.
3.) The person who is really
competent but wants to hide behind
the excuse that he/she doesn’t
know what to do.
B. In many, if not most, areas.....those who are
not able to perform a task, can be trained....they
1. A lot of it depends upon their faith in God to
be there for them.
a. It is true that we, of our own volition,
cannot do many things.....it may not
ever be necessary to do some things....
but in those things that may be needed
by the Lord, we need to make ourselves
available to the leading of God.
Phil. 4:13 - 13I can do all things through Christ who
VI. Another problem stems from IRRESPONSIBILITY.
A. Not wanting to be....or the act of NOT BEING
a responsible person................say nothing of a
1. It all boils down to one question: “If
nobody is responsible to see that the things
of God get done....who will go?”
Isaiah 6:8 - 8Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:
“Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?” Then I said,
“Here am I! Send me.”
a. We are probably all too willing to say:
“Here he is, Lord....send him!”
B. A lack of responsibility may be a product of a
fear of failure.
** Again, Phil. 4:13 comes into play: Phil. 4:13 - 13I can
do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
1. Some reason that if they don’t do anything,
they can’t be at fault for anything.
a. The point is..........if one knows what
needs to be done...what should be done...
what MUST be done......and doesn’t
do it because they are afraid of doing
something wrong....they have already
DONE SOMETHING WRONG IN
THE “NOT DOING”!
James 4:17 - to him who knows to do good and does not
do it, to him it is sin.
VII. The next word that comes to mind is the word:
A. This is a stubborn person who will not yield to the
wishes of others or the commands of God.
1. In some respects this person is a rebel.
a. There are those who are actually
somewhat proud of not complying with
orders, instructions, or requests.
1.) They view this as displaying their
individuality and independence.
a.) God views it as rebellion,
disobedience, and insolence.
Isaiah 15:23a - 23 For rebellion is as the sin of
witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and
B. Incompliance stems from pride...it is the flip side
of the coin of “meekness”.
1. To submit to the will and wishes of someone
else.....to some degree.....means the
mortification of self.
a. Self is the source of all pride.
1.) An incompliant person is disruptive
and cannot (will not) be used of the
a.) We, as potter’s clay, need to
to bend to the wishes of God
and His leading.
Romans 9:20-21 - 20But indeed, O man, who are you to
reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who
formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21Does not
the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to
make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?
b.) An incompliant person is stiff-
necked and unbendable.....as
pottery, he is only good for the
VIII. The word, INIRTIA also came to mind.
A. In science, inertia, is defined (in part) as the
tendency to stay at rest.
1. Another word that comes to mind in relation
to the word, “inertia”, is the word, LAZY.
Prov. 24:30-34 - 30 I went by the field of the lazy
man, And by the vineyard of the man devoid of
understanding; 31 And there it was, all overgrown with
thorns; Its surface was covered with nettles; Its stone wall
was broken down.32 When I saw it, I considered it
well; I looked on it and received instruction: 33 A little
sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to
rest;34 So shall your poverty come like a prowler, And
your need like an armed man.
a. A lot of what doesn’t get done is from
1.) We don’t like it when we detect it
in others........we may not even
like it when we detect it in
a.) Our repugnance for laziness
doesn’t seem to motivate
enough, however, to eliminate
B. Laziness is pure pandering to self, pleasure, self-
indulgence, and self-gratification.
1. The only way to overcome laziness is to rise
above the wants and desires of the flesh and
force self into submission to the will of God
and the needs of our fellow Christian.
Matt. 16:24-26 - 24Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If
anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and
take up his cross, and follow Me. 25“For whoever desires
to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for
My sake will find it. 26“For what profit is it to a man if he
gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what
will a man give in exchange for his soul?
** It’s just too bad that the second part of the definition of
“inertia” isn’t encountered more......”That which is in
motion has a tendency to remain in motion.”
IX. The last word that comes to mind is the word,
A. Of all the words that contribute to problems, this
word is the worst.
1. To be incorrigible is to be UNWILLING TO
a. All of the other things that have been
mentioned can be remedied if a person
is willing to admit his error and repent.
1.) One who is incorrigible WILL
** According to God, it is IMPOSSIBLE to save a person
who is unwilling to repent.
B. It may be that this person cannot see what the
problem is.....this is ignorance.
1. But when a person sees himself reflected in
the mirror of God’s Holy Word....he has a
decision to make: 1.) Change what
this reflection indicates. 2.) Walk away
from the mirror......fully knowing and
understanding the ugliness of what is seen.....
and continue through life with this ugliness
Luke 13:2-5 - 2And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do
you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than
all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3“I
tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise
perish. 4“Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam
fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse
sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5“I tell
you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
At the beginning of this message, I hinted at the possibility
that all of these problems could be summarized in one
word....in one thought.
A. The word or thought is seen throughout all ofthese
1. I don’t think that it was a co-incidence that all
of these words started with the letter, “I”.....
a. This is the problem........I
All problems stem from an undue influence of self.
A. If Christians cannot or will-not crucify and deny
the will of self, all of these “I” words will haunt
and defeat us in our quest for eternal life.
Christians need to vigilantly see to it that they keep self in a
subservient role to both God and man.