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Be patient…

What’s the difference between an “excuse” and an “explanation?”

While there might be other points of distinction, the major difference is that an excuse is offered as an effort to deflect or avoid responsibility for a wrong committed, whereas an explanation is offered simply to provides further details about why the wrong was committed. This is a subtle, yet important, distinction.

Christians ought to be people who own up to their faults. When we do something wrong, the Lord tells us that we need to take responsibility for that wrong. So long as we’re taking full responsibility for our actions, it’s appropriate to provide an explanation for why we did what we did. Such an explanation can assist in the process of reconciliation, allowing the offended party to understand the situation better and perhaps be more quick to extend forgiveness.

Our bumper sticker this week is an explanation. It reads, “Be patient, God isn’t finished with me yet.”

This sticker is not an excuse; denying that the person driving the car has committed any sin. Instead, the sticker is an explanation, taking responsibility for his/her sin, yet offering an explanation for that sin.

And in that explanation there is an element of hope. The message of this sticker reveals an optimistic outlook on the finished product that God is in the process of creating. In other words, the person who places this sticker on his or her care is indicating that he or she is presently being sanctified by God.

Our sermon this Sunday will be on the topic of sanctification. The sermon text is 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8. Please read through these verses, paying particular attention to verse 3a, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification.”

Listen to the sermon.