You’re Not Excused

It seems we live in a world that loves to make excuses.
We make excuses for everything.

Instead of taking responsibility for our own actions, we pass the blame off on someone else.
Instead of confessing to a mess up, we make up a reason things went wrong.


We have to take responsibility for our own actions.

Deep down we usually know where and when we messed up.
We have to be honest enough to admit it.

For leaders, (pastors, parents, teachers, anyone leading anyone) we often tend to think that we have to always make the right decisions and pull the right triggers.

The problem, we don’t always.

Maybe, instead of making excuses, we should admit our mistakes.

Think of the results of ‘fessing up…

  • The people around us begin to relate to our imperfection.
  • We gain respect because of our honesty.
  • People are even more willing to follow because they know we’ll take the blame when something fails.

Don’t pass the buck of blame, swallow the truth of your own mistakes.


  1. Ownership is huge. I believe that part of ownership is leading the way. If you set the tone as a leader who always admits to his mistakes and owns them, it will filter down to your team. You also have to allow for others to own their mistakes when they come. That is the mark of a good leader.

    1. Love the post and Tony’s reply.
      When I read “ownership”
      it reminded me
      that Christ took ownership
      of that sin on the cross
      and of you
      as you trust in Him.
      Why would we not
      “own it”.
      It humbly admits
      your need for
      our passionate Savior.

  2. Ownership is exactly the word that so many “leaders” within the formalized churches of America need to grasp.

    It’s just the modern-day equivalent to Adam’s weakness: But, but, but, it was that woman you gave me! Always some excuse, isn’t it? Fah.

    Accountability is not a Christian catch word to toss about like how we abuse the word “Love”. Our Father expects us to take our faults and make them our own. He favors this in His sons.

  3. I agree with Tony’s reply – as a leader, we need to set the example. If we own our mistakes and show the people we serve that we aren’t perfect and are willing to take responsibility for that, they will, too. It’s actually something I look for in those who lead me (church leaders, etc). If they keep blaming others for mistakes, I have a hard time serving under them. I don’t want the leader who pretends they are perfect, makes no mistakes and their lives are completely put together. That’s fake. I want the leader who is open with his/her mistakes, learns from them, and pushes forward. That’s the kind of person I can follow.

    Great post man!

  4. Jonathan,
    Man, did I ever need to read this post. I am currently dealing with two staff members who are unwilling to fess up and take responsibility. I definitely will be passing this along. Well done!

  5. You hit that one right on the screws. In a society that translates admitting mistakes with weakness, it’s a great example of Christ for a leader to have the humility to buck the world’s system and admit their mistakes.

  6. With honesty comes trust as well as respect. Trust is extremely important as we build friendships and relationships with spouses. I’d argue that without trust, authentic love can be difficult to come by.

  7. As a former judicial officer at – well, every university I’ve worked for, I can tell you that the problem of ownership, and sadly, even accountability, isn’t limited to those in faith-based places of employment. The sheer number of college students I encountered who thought they could (a) get away with whatever they were charged with, (b) get by with just a slap on the wrist (I mean, everyone smokes marijuana and drinks while underage, right?), and/or (c) get their parents to bail them out/hardball the system into letting their kids go was staggering.

    When did responsibility turn into a four-letter-word?


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