Mason Cooley, an American aphorist, is quoted saying, “Excuses change nothing, but make everyone feel better.” I’m surprised by the realization of how true this statement is. Why do I make excuses about exercising—having a busy schedule, being too tired or putting it off until tomorrow? I make excuses to make myself feel better about putting off what I should be doing. Blowing off a workout isn’t going to hurt me every so often, but what excuses do we make for more important things?
We all know that prayer and Bible study are very important aspects of our faith and development as Christians. Yet, how difficult is it to make sure these vital steps are put first in our daily routine? I’ve often thought about how many reasons I’ve heard and that I’ve used to put off doing daily Bible study or prayer. Excuses can prevent us from maintaining our relationship with God.
In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 2 Timothy 3:16-17  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to all good works.
American King James Version×, Paul says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” However, the scriptures will do us absolutely no good if we never read them. If the Bible remains a nice book in our collection and nothing more, then no inspiration, reproof, correction or instruction will ever come from it.
We must establish a routine, and then follow through with it! Anyone who knows me, or has seen my desk, can tell that I value organization. The same should be true with our daily routines. Make a list, write down personal study habits, or create a schedule. By implementing concrete ways to improve our spiritual lives, we can all become more successful at holding ourselves accountable.
Another way to help kick-start our personal prayer and study life is to avoid using excuses. Once you have a plan, don’t allow yourself to deviate from it. If we decide we’re too tired on Monday, write it down. Noticing a pattern in how often we use excuses can help us to recognize an excuse verses a true reason. Stop making excuses now. Your growth in the future will thank you.