Danger of Making Excuses

One of the most prolific causes of mistakes is the habit of excusing one's self on the ground of having been influenced by some other person. It is a habit which dates back to the beginning of the world's history and plays a prominent part in the Adam-allegory.

It is entirely proper that one should note his proneness to foreign influences as a warning and as a means to remind him of needed caution or defense against such supposed influences, but to excuse one's self on the basis of having been unduly influenced is simply to admit that one has not the moral stability to withstand such influence and constitutes an admission of weakness. It is quite as unbecoming Christian manhood, and quite as harmful, to blunder by invitation as to err from one's own initiative. We are not on the safe side until we are strong enough to resist undue outside influences as well as our own weaknesses. St. Paul refers to the pressure of principalities, powers, things present, things to come, and so on, which beset the Christian in his warfare; but in another connection he says, "None of these things move me."

January 15, 1916

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