Listen Live

Currently Playing

On Air Now

Christian Rock
Christian Rock

Current Weather

Excusing Inaction


By: Kristen L. McNulty

This devotion first aired on the MAD Christian Radio Show

The temptation we all face when we encounter a situation where we encounter someone in need is to come up with an excuse not to act. Come up with a way that we can justify doing nothing. Excuses take the onus off of us and point the finger at someone else when it comes to our inaction.

The list of excuses we give to hold back love are long.

When we see the homeless on the street we justify not doing anything because giving money could be helping to feed a drug habit, or so we say. All the while failing to recognize as we walk away that there are many other things we could have done to help, starting with at least a conversation.

When we hear of people suffering in other parts of the world, we ignore the charitable request for our money, justifying that we don’t know where the money will end up or even whose fault the situation is in the first place.

When we are told that someone we know is struggling with an illness, we put off a visit, telling ourselves that we could be disturbing them yet all the while ignoring that we could easily text them to find out if that would be the case.


There are many ways that we try to excuse or justify our inaction, but if we look to scripture, we can see that is not an option we have. We are expected to act and one day we will be held to account for both our actions and inactions. Let’s take a look at Matthew 25, starting at verse 31 where Jesus said:

But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? [38] Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ Matthew 25:31-40


These verses clearly show us we as Christians are called to feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, invite in the stranger, clothe those in poverty, care for the sick and visit those imprisoned. This calling to live out love to those around us is repeated time and time again in the Bible and not once that I could find, are we given an out or an excuse that allows us to do nothing. No, throughout the Bible when we are called to love others we don’t find a list of excuses that would be accepted to justify our inaction. After all,

Jesus didn’t say to love your enemies only when they become your friends (Matthew 5:43-48).

The Bible doesn’t call us to feed the hungry, but then say we only have to provide food to those who show us proof of employment or a negative drug test first (Isaiah 58:7).

Jesus didn’t tell us to do good to only those we count as friends first (Luke 6:35).

The Bible doesn’t instruct us to only love the neighbors we happen to like as we love ourselves (Leviticus 19:18).


There is no list of conditions or disclaimers when it comes to the kind of love God wants us to live out and love is exactly that, something that we do, not something that we say we feel.

Love is an action and as this parable teaches us, it’s something each and every one of us is going to have to give an account for. Because while you might not know of the homeless person I just passed on by without trying to help, God does. And while I might not know about the neighbour you’re not loving, God does. And He is the audience of One whose opinion truly matters.


Closing off with one final thought and that is what happens when we do nothing? When we pass by the person we were intended to help, what happens? Do they miss out on a life-changing encounter? Do we? Do we rob ourselves out of the things God has for us? Do we rob others from the care our Heavenly Father wanted them to know and experience? If God calls us to a task and we ignore it or excuse it away, there can be far-reaching implications. Implications that could be avoided if only you and I would discard our excuses and live out the love of God to the fullest.