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Sentence Sermons (Christian Inspiration) #33 --- Excuses

Updated on December 8, 2015

Quotations on Excuses

Excuses are the broken ships which souls are dashed upon the rocks of eternal ruin.

---Daniel H. Tuttle, The Progressive Farmer, Winston, N.C., July 21, 1896.

Excuses are no substitutes for actions. Not all the excuses in the world can fill the place of a duty well done. When we present ourselves before the Lord it should we with arms full of sheaves of labor, not of sheaves of excuses.

---William T. Ellis, Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, N.Y., Oct. 22, 1910.

The man who is always making excuses should give a reason for telling such lies.

---Dewey O. Miller, Wesleyan Young People's Journal, Syracuse, N.Y., July 1942.

If an excuse sounds too darned reasonable, it is usually a lie.

---Robert Quillen, The Evening News, San Jose, Calif., Aug. 6, 1921.

Heredity can explain a lot of things, but it never excuses them.

—Bill Copeland, Sarasota Journal, Sarasota, Fla., Oct. 6, 1965.

The alibi conventional–the whole thing was unintentional.

—Bill Copeland, Sarasota Journal, Sarasota, Fla., April 27, 1967.

The poorest excuse on earth is that everybody does it.

---Carl J.G. Brown, Atchison Daily Globe, Atchison, Kan., Feb. 4, 1926.

The trouble with most of us: We won’t forget others, but content that the community should be broadminded enough to excuse us for our mistakes and meanness.

---Carl J.G. Brown, Atchison Daily Globe, Atchison, Kan., Nov. 29, 1918.

Hiding behind excuses is as foolish as burying one’s head in the sand.

---Eugene Alexander “Gene” Howe, Amarillo Daily Globe, Amarillo, Texas, May 12, 1924.

Many a time when a man makes a mistake, he tries to excuse himself by accusing others.

---Eugene Alexander “Gene” Howe, Amarillo Daily Globe, Amarillo, Texas, Oct. 7, 1924.

Blunders are always made worse by ridiculous excuses.

---Eugene Alexander “Gene” Howe, Atchison Daily Globe, Atchison, Kan., Jan. 15, 1918.

The sin of excuses is built up from a tissue of lies.

---John Elward Brown, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Honolulu, Hawaii, Dec. 10, 1915.

The ability to create an alibi will curse any man.

---John Wesley Holland, Livingston Republican, Geneseo, N.Y., June 20, 1929.

Nothing in the world is easier than inventing excuses for doing things you know you shouldn’t.

—Bert Moses, Lake Charles American-Press, Lake Charles, La., Dec. 28, 1928.

Some excuses are worse than the offense.

---Bert Moses, Lake Charles American Press, Lake Charles, La., Dec. 15, 1942.

By their excuses ye shall know them.

---Roy L. Smith, Christian Advocate, Chicago, Ill., Nov. 27, 1941.

The excuses with which we fool ourselves seldom fool other people.

---Roy L. Smith, Christian Advocate, Chicago, Ill., Dec. 27, 1945.

The most useless excuse is, "I didn't stop to think."

‑‑‑Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Sept. 25, 1931.

Most men finding themselves victims of their own folly will accept anything as an alibi.

‑‑‑Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Oct. 8, 1931.

There are many ways of making excuses, but one way of making good.

---Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., March 27, 1933.

Men do well to make good—it’s less trouble than making excuses.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Dec. 18, 1928.

Happy is the man who has never accumulated the habit of hiding behind alibis.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., March 16, 1934.

It is harder to keep making excuses than it is to keep faith.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., May 30, 1935.

We often excuse stinginess by hiding behind the stinginess of someone else.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., May 5, 1936.

We often excuse our own hypocrisy by calling someone else a hypocrite.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., May 5, 1936.

We often excuse ourselves for the same things we condemn in our neighbors.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., May 5, 1936.

One nice thing about excuses is that few people who given them expect them to be believed.

---Roy L. Smith, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, N.Y., May 27, 1930.

Better to make mistakes in doing something than to make excuses for doing nothing.

---Roy L. Smith, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, N.Y., Oct. 15, 1930.

Ignorance is a good peg on which to hang excuses.

---Charles Joyner, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., Dec. 24, 1940.

There is never any market for used excuses.

---Joe Lambright, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., June 16, 1937.

When it comes to making excuses, there’s no one as versatile as a fellow who makes constant excuses for not being able to attend church.

---John Merrill Chilcote, St. Joseph News-Press, St. Joseph, Mo., Jan. 18, 1948.

Some can always find excuses for their ignorance—not really explanations, just excuses.

---John Merrill Chilcote, St. Joseph News-Press, St. Joseph, Mo., July 19, 1981.

Excuses for tardiness don't go in the school of experience.

-‑‑Ben F. Williams, quoted in Ephraim Enterprise, Ephraim, Utah, Feb. 1, 1929.

The trouble about an excuse is that usually it has to be bolstered by a lie.

—Clarence L. Cullen, Salt Lake Herald-Republican, Salt Lake City, Utah, Jan. 11, 1913.

The tough thing about the school of experience is that you cannot bring an excuse when you're late.

‑‑‑Les Goates, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, Oct. 7, 1958.

An alibi is proving you did what you didn’t do somebody will think you didn’t do what you did.

---Tom Sims, Milwaukee Journal, Milwaukee, Wis., Jan. 6, 1922.

Not being able to make an excuse, sometimes a man is compelled to speak the truth.

---Duncan M. Smith, Buckingham Post, Buckingham, Ontario, Canada, May 31, 1912.

It is a poor excuse that has a reaction clause.

---Duncan M. Smith, Waterloo Advertiser, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, March 1, 1912.

There is only one reason why we are not better, and that is because we will not will to be better. We want to be better, but wanting is wishing. Willing is indecision implemented by action. Most of us make the same reservations about our moral betterment that we do about dieting: “We will start tomorrow.” Our will is full of excuses, which are half-conscious because we refuse to face them. The more we rebel against examining our reservations, the more certain it is that they are the very ones that must be given up. Nothing so much cripples the spiritual life as these hidden “bugs” in the motor of our soul, such as self-seeking, immorality, dishonesty and bitterness toward others. We wonder why, when we seem to advance so far, that we suffer such defeats. Invariably it is because of prejudices and evil habits and the Trojan horse of dominant fault. Until that is dug out and laid before God, there can be no real progress in the spirit. As St. Augustine said: “He is Thy best servant, O Lord, who looks not so much to hear from Thee what he wants to hear, but rather wills to do that which he hears.” Most of us are a trouble to others, but few want to be a trouble to themselves. They know that a dog cannot be housebroken without trouble and effort, but they expect to make themselves morally good without any effort or self-discipline. Almost all theories of education today leave out self-discipline by which a man pulls and tightens the strings on the violin of his heart until they give forth true melodies. Very few have a plan of action which is broad enough to take in this troubling of the self for the sake of moral perfection. But willing to be better alone is not enough. This decision is merely like opening the blinds; immediately the light floods the darkened spaces. So with the heart; when it admits its need, the grace of God begins to pour into your soul, and out of this conjunction of our will and Divine Power there comes a goodness which is not of this world, and also an inner peace which nothing in this world can destroy.

---Fulton J. Sheen, Knickerbocker News, Albany, N.Y., July 3, 1954.

Some people seem always to be making excuses. When things don't go right for them they have an explanation ready‑‑just as if they expected to fail. Someone has said, "There aren't enough crutches in the world for all the lame excuses." He could be right, you know. I've noticed one thing about people who make excuses. They are never wrong‑‑at least that's the impression they give. The reason their projects fail is someone else's weakness, or failure to do his part. Once in a while the failure is blamed on some inanimate object‑‑such as a tool or product. The inadequacy of the excuse maker is seldom blamed. On rare occasions I meet someone who is mature enough and self‑confident enough not to need an excuse. You'll recognize him by the way he accepts blame for his failures and refuses to make lame excuses. The redeeming factor in the life of the prodigal son was his willingness to say to the father, "I have sinned‑‑I am no more worthy to be called thy son." (Luke 15:19, 21.) When we cease excusing ourselves and recognize our unworthiness before God, He is ready to forgive our transgressions.

‑‑‑R.T. McCartney, The Beam, Fort Worth, Texas, October 1965.

Whenever a fellow starts to write the history of his life, you may be sure that it is an alibiography.

‑‑‑Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque, N.M., Jan. 4, 1925.

There is general suspicion that the "li" is the biggest part of an alibi.

‑‑‑American Fork Citizen, American Fork, Utah, Nov. 10, 1923.

As a general thing you can estimate the thickness of a man's skull by the thinness of his excuses.

‑‑‑Austin American, Austin, Texas, Dec. 19, 1923.

Do not make and lay up for yourself excuses before they are needed.

‑‑‑Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Aug. 30, 1891.

Most excuse making is near lying.

---Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, Sept. 1, 1910.

Making excuses unmakes many a man.

‑‑‑Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, Feb. 1, 1911.

It is easier to make excuses than to mend broken promises.

‑‑‑Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, Dec. 17,1913.

The man who is ever offering excuses is himself a poor excuse.

‑‑‑Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, Jan. 23, 1914.

A lazy man is never so tired that he can dig up an alibi.

---Fayetteville Observer, Fayetteville, Tenn., Feb. 21, 1924.

An excuse always goes lame in the home stretch.

‑‑‑Great Falls Tribune, Great Falls, Mont., Feb. 2, 1940.

An ounce of discretion is worth a pound of alibi.

‑‑‑Gunnison Valley News, Gunnison, Utah, May 13, 1926.

An excuse is just a promise turned inside out.

‑‑‑Harlem News, Harlem, Mont., Dec. 25, 1953.

Life is a hard and tough proposition when you have to alibi yourself.

‑‑‑Louisville Herald, Louisville, Ky., Sept. 6, 1906.

Our faults are often less objectionable than the excuses we think up for them.

‑‑‑Maury Democrat, Columbia, Tenn., Oct. 28, 1943.

Nothing in the world is easier than inventing excuses for doing things you know you shouldn’t.

---Meriden Record, Meriden, Conn., Jan. 30, 1929.

Necessity is the mother of invention, but in the case of an alibi, mother sometimes pops up so suddenly there isn't time to do invention justice.

-‑‑Nashville Tennessean, Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 25, 1925.

Lots of excuses are not worth the trouble it takes to make them.

‑‑‑New York Times, New York, N.Y., Nov. 27, 1904.

The average man has plenty of excuses, but he can't always think of them.

‑‑‑New York Times, New York, N.Y., Sept. 17, 1905.

Making good will save making excuses.

---Prescott Evening Courier, Prescott, Ariz., Nov. 16, 1922.

A coward is known by the excuses he makes.

‑‑‑Provo Post, Provo, Utah, Oct. 31, 1922.

A poor excuse is often worse than none.

‑‑‑Puck, New York, N.Y., Dec. 30, 1896.

It is easy to find an excuse for not doing a good deed when we have no heart to do it.

‑‑‑The Religious Telescope, Dayton, Ohio, Feb. 4, 1857.

An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie; for an excuse is a lie guarded.

‑‑‑The Religious Telescope, Dayton, Ohio, Jan. 12, 1859.

The thicker the head, the thinner the excuses.

‑‑‑Richfield Reaper, Richfield, Utah, Aug. 9, 1923.

Some people like to grumble so well that they hunt excuses for it.

‑‑‑River Press, Fort Benton, Mont., May 29, 1935.

There are people in the world who positively enjoy their misfortunes because they serve as excuses on all occasions.

‑‑‑River Press, Fort Benton, Mont., April 27, 1938.

Men who make the most mistakes find it easy to make excuses.

‑‑‑Rogersville Review, Rogersville, Tenn., Nov. 17, 1955.

It is better to make an excuse than to blame the innocent.

‑‑‑Wheeling Intelligencer, Wheeling, W.Va., Oct. 14, 1910 .

When asked to render a useful service for the welfare of the community or the church, a person will parade a list of "good" excuses. These excuses may sound logical and they may be persuasive. They are "good" reasons but they are not "real" reasons. Behind the facade of easy explanations is a desire to avoid those duties and responsibilities which each of us ought spontaneously to assume for the common good of church, state and community. ...

"Good" as the explanations may sound, the apologies are hardly honest or 'real.' Indifferent and irresponsible persons manufacture flimsy curtains of pretense around themselves and push onto the shoulders of others the which they wish to shun. How impossible all community and church life would become if "excusitis" spread into the minds and hearts of all men.

Those who are most adept at the art of making excuses frequently disguise or sublimate their own true instincts. "Good" excuses usually lay bare the conflict between what we are and (1) what we wish we were, (2) what we should be, and (3) what we wish others to think we are. Psychologists describe this sickness as "rationalizing" or attributing one's actions to rational and creditable motives without adequate analysis of the true motives.

—Charles L. Allen, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., Aug. 7, 1952.

Two wrongs don’t make a right. Think of this when you are tempted to plead another’s faults as an excuse for your own wrongdoing.

—J.B. Cranfill, Baptist Standard, Waco, Texas, Jan. 23, 1896.

There is always an alibi but seldom a reason for doing evil. A youth who associates with alibis will later become the bosom companion of lies.

—Robert F. Aids, The Sunday School Builder, Nashville, Tenn., June 1946.

One of the most prevalent forms of self-justification is the scapegoat alibi--someone else is to blame. That is an easy method of excuse. If we are wise, we will see how natural it is, and how often we are tempted to find comfort and excuse in a scapegoat.

—Harry Emerson Fosdick, New York Times, New York, N.Y., Jan. 1, 1940.

An excuse is the skin of a reason stuffed with a lie.

—Billy Sunday, quoted by Ronnie W. Floyd, Invitation to Life, Springdale, Ark., Aug. 11, 1996.

We must be aware that lame excuses simply perpetuate a lukewarm, sporadic, weak and nominal faith. If we have a habit of conveniently using excuses when we want to shirk our spiritual responsibilities, we must accept that such behavior is poison to all who want to improve their relationship with God.

—Charles Joanides, The Times, Shreveport, La., Aug. 1, 1987.

If you want to make excuses go to the devil–he will give you all kinds of excuses.

—Karl G. Maeser, Millennial Star, London, England, Oct. 19, 1939.

Excuses are the expression of faithless folk. There is nothing so frightening as people forever saying "tomorrow." Tomorrow is a fool's seed time which provides no promise of harvest.

—Ronald W. Prince, Baptist Message, Alexandria, La., Jan. 5, 1978.

When we fail in our obligations, spiritual, political or to human society, we offer excuses which are really only explanations. A genuine excuse is a circumstance over which we have no control which releases us from our obligation. But more often we have only an explanation, which is that we followed our own selfish ends.

—J.P. McComas, New York Times, New York, N.Y., June 27, 1927.

If all the excuses man has invented for missing church were written out and put end for end they would still be extending, but if edited and revised they could be written into the plain term–common cussedness.

—A.J. Gearheard, The Shreveport Times, Shreveport, La., Oct. 4, 1925.

It is very interesting to hear the excuses offered by the guilty for acts of cussedness. Alibi creators are many, but the models are very old and antique. The best policy is to so live that excuses are not needed.

—A.J. Gearheard, The Shreveport Times, Shreveport, La., May 22, 1927.

The bulk of all alibis are due to a superabundance of pride.

—Grantland Rice, New York Tribune, New York, N.Y., Feb. 13, 1915.

Excuses are merely self-shielding umbrellas. Have a good reason for everything.

—Gloria Young, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, Jan. 30, 1936.

God sees through our excuses. Like a father who knows his children well, God knows us. He can't be "conned." He knows us better than we know ourselves. Our excuses seem so frail and feeble when laid up under the light of God's truth.

God is not so much interested in hearing our excuses as forgiving our sins. We don't need a scapegoat; we have a Savior. We are not justified by our eloquent excuses, but by the grace of a loving, forgiving Father.

What God wants is not excuses, but penitence. What is said with the lips is not nearly so important as what happens in the heart. Remember the Pharisee and the publican who went to the temple to pray. The Pharisee tries to excuse himself with high-sounding words. But there is the publican with his prayer of penitence, "God, be merciful to me a sinner!" (Luke 18:13.) As the parable closes, the "penitent publican" is justified, rather than the "excuse-making Pharisee."

What God wants is not excuses, but penitence commitment and acts of love.

—Jim Moore, Shreveport Journal, Shreveport, La., Feb. 19, 1983.

Excuses are always given by the inefficient; they are a sign of sin.

—T.O. Sallee, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, July 25, 1921.

Most excuses are merely lies wrapped in cellophane.

—Roy E. Gibson, Nephi Times-News, Nephi, Utah, Sept. 10, 1953.

God is not the author of excuses; He is the author of reason. Men and women invent excuses to keep from rendering the service they owe their God, their fellowmen and their families. But there is no reason under heaven why one should ignore his duty to God or his family or community. We may give our excuses, but they are not reasons which will be acceptable when we are face to face with our conscience and our God. If we allow our selfish desires to be gratified and neglect the obligations which are upon us for others, then we are playing an unfair game which can only mean loss in the end.

—A.H. Sargent, Lake Charles American-Press, Lake Charles, La., Jan. 19, 1922.

The alibi is the devil's method of reducing the morale. By these means he deceives the individual into taking the attitude of "passing the buck" to someone else when he faces immediate responsibility.

—Ernest C. Wareing, Western Christian Advocate, Cincinnati, Ohio, July 15, 1926.

Watch your excuses. They are probably lies you have invented to camouflage some incident you want to hide.

—Phil Conley, The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss., Jan. 26, 1950.

Don't accuse the times to excuse yourself.

—David M. Gardner, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, March 5, 1953.

Excuses are easy to make but hard to break. Excuses keep more people from going to church, from praying, from reading the Bible, from loving their neighbor, from doing good and being good than anything else originating in the human mind. As an antidote to all this the Good Book says, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 2:5.) The mind of Christ was set on all that is high and noble and against all that is demoralizing and debasing. He had his mind set on the Father's business. He went about doing good, even to those that spitefully used him. .His mind was fixed on the Father's will, even though it led to the cross. He never, in all His life, made a single excuse.

—W.R. Wendt, The Daily Iberian, New Iberia, La., Jan. 28, 1956.

Any excuse is an opiate administered to conscience.

Any excuse is ofttimes only an antiseptic lie.

Any excuse is a narcotic that paralyzes the will.

Any excuse is the first defense of a man afraid of the facts.

Any excuse is the first step in the fall of the alibi addict.

Any excuse is a sedative applied to self-respect.

Any excuse is a foul attack on honest effort.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Jan. 11, 1932.

The need of an excuse is the stepmother of invention.

—J.R. Hornady, Louisville Times, Louisville, Ky., April 12, 1902.

An excuse may be defined as reason with a hole in it.

An excuse really doesn't hold water. It is an attempted escape from responsibility. Jesus told of a man who invited a number of people to a banquet. Instead of coming, those invited began to make excuses. They each gave an answer to why they couldn't come.

Excuses are word-substitutes for action. When one doesn't want to do what he is supposed to do, he may send a word-substitute. He doesn't change his course of action; he only sends an excuse for why he can't do what he is supposed to do. ...

Youth today blame their parents. Adults blame their associates and circumstances. "It is not me, Lord: it is the world that you have put me in." "Lord, I would be obedient, but . . ."

God is not interested in words. Excuses are only words for where action ought to be. An excuse may be good or bad, but it is only words. God does not ask the impossible. What He requires, He provides the power to perform. When it comes to obeying God, only performance counts.

What God requires, He helps one to do. Nothing short of obedience will do. At this point no excuse is good enough. Failure can only be accompanied with confession and repentance. Either one does what God requires or he needs to confess his failure and turn from it in repentance.

In themselves, excuses are empty of the power to satisfy. Inwardly, there is something missing in an excuse. It may be a verbal-substitute to another person, but the man inside knows the true situation. Even if others accept the excuse, there is trouble with the man inside accepting it. ... Inner-self guilt stalks most people. There is an aching that others cannot relieve. There is a self-incrimination that no amount of words can excuse.

Excuses go unreceived by God. In the parable that Jesus told, the Lord shut out those who made excuses. Jesus has said: "If you love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15.) "You are my disciples, if you do whatsoever I command you." (John 15:14.)

The one that is accepted with God is not the one that says, but the one that does. The Bible teaches, "He that knows to do good and does it not, to him it is sin." (James 4:17.) "Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving you own selves." (James 1:22.)

The beginning place is confession. Each has failed to measure up to God's requirement. Each person has fallen short of God's commands. The Bible has promises, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9.) When God forgives, He wipes the sin off the record. He removes it from His mind. He buries it in the deepest sea, removing it as far from us as the east is from the west.

—James E. Still, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, Feb. 21, 1973.

Many people seem to believe the old saying that a poor excuse is better than none, though in reality it is not. The poor excuse does not lessen our obligations, but it sometimes enables us to escape doing our duty, and, at the same time, silence the voice of conscience.

One of the commonest excuses for failing to do Christian service is the plea of incompetency. Now, in most instances, those who try to evade duty by claiming that they are incompetent are not wholly honest with themselves. "Couldn't you do this?" one asks. "Yes, but I am untrained and others could do a better work." It is often remarked that we say depreciating things about ourselves when we are trying to get out of doing our duty that we would not allow others to say about us. We are simply making flimsy excuses.

A common excuse is that there are insurmountable obstacles in the way. Those who really accomplish great things are individuals who know something about obstacles. They do not ignore them or make light of them, but they know that the presence of obstacles does not excuse them from obeying the command for it. ...

One of the poorest excuses one can offer for withholding his hand from a good undertaking is, "Yes, but you'll get no thanks for it." Often that is true, but we must take higher ground than that. What has that to do with the matter anyway? Is not the fact that you have made life sweeter and happier for someone sufficient reward? Does not the knowledge that unwary feet have been safeguarded make up for the lack of personal recognition? ...

Many a one who really feels the tug of some strong appeal puts it aside with, "Yes, but I am too busy." The person who is too busy to do a single unselfish, Christlike thing is taking time that does not belong to him. Not everyone, however, who makes this excuse is stating the facts. There are a few of us who do not waste a good deal of time in the course of a week, and many waste more time than they really put to legitimate use.

—Mattie M. Boteler, Christian Standard, Cincinnati, Ohio, Sept. 6, 1917.


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