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  • Eric Kampmann

Excuses Do Not Save

Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it?

Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities

and good things come? Why should any living man complain

when punished for his sins?

—Lamentations 3:37–39

If we believed in divine justice, we would neither complain about our calamities nor brag about our successes. But most of us, when caught in wrongdoing, immediately rummage around in our vast bag of excuses to find the perfect “get out free” card.

When we hear someone say, “It wasn’t my fault; she made me do it,” we should recognize that these are the same words that Adam used when confronted by God in the garden:“The man said, ‘The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it’” (Genesis 3:12).

We marvel at Adam’s ingenuity in blaming both God and Eve in the same breath. If it is God’s fault for creating Eve to be Adam’s companion, then God should let him off the hook. And if it is Eve’s fault, then she should be punished.

Clever, but God makes the rules, and the rule was “You will not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” By eating the fruit, Adam broke God’s one prohibition. No excuse would change that, nor will any excuse help us if we were to choose to follow the tragic course set by Adam.

—Eric Kampmann, Signposts

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