Jesus told of people who received an invitation to a great feast—but no one came. Instead, they “all began to make excuses” saying, “I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it,” or “I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out.” Or even, “I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come” (Luke 14:18-20).
Those all seem like decent enough reasons to me. But whom am I to judge? As the apostle Paul taught, “Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls” (Rom. 14:4). The excuse makers all fell even if I might have thought myself generous by not condemning them.
The Lord alone can condemn or justify while we cannot because “the Lord weighs the hearts” (Prov. 21:2 and 24:12). Only He is able to “judge the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12)
There is only one heart that I can fully judge: my own. I often don't like what I find when I look at it fully and truly. It is really easy to then project and figure that other folks must be in the same sorry shape is me—and uncharitably, I decide that most of them must be even worse. But that is conjecture, not knowledge, and certainly not righteous judgment.
So on that day when all around “begin to make excuse,” I must make sure that I'm not doing it too. This alone is what I can control. And may I repent and ask the Lord to forgive me for when I have made excuses and may He keep me from doing it again.