There are a lot of excuses for not going to church. Some people don’t believe in the necessity of it, while others don’t believe in the God of it. But one excuse that stands out is the one that blames everyone else for a person’s own lack of attendance.
Someone once said the reason they stopped going to church was because of all the hypocrites who went there. Granted, no one is perfect; however, there is a flaw with this excuse. When you go to church looking for perfection in others, you’re not seeing the perfection of the only one who matters. And if you’re not there for Him, you are probably right to just stay home.
The foundation of the church is Christ (Matthew 16:18, "this rock" referring to Himself). As it was built upon Him, it is centered around Him and continues on because of Him. To attend for any other reason than Him is to attend for the wrong reason. It isn’t that we can’t enjoy the singing while we’re there or be touched by a certain prayer that was prayed, but the main focus is and should always be The Lord.
Others have said the reason they don’t go to church is because they don’t believe people can really change. If you’ve never been the recipient of this change, it would be difficult to understand, but, again, the focus is wrongfully on the person and not on Christ.
Anytime it’s said that the reason someone doesn’t go to church is due to everyone else who is there, the excuse loses merit when you consider the real purpose of church services. We don’t attend church for pats on the back or to be somehow paid for the things we do. We are there to worship God, not ourselves and not anyone else.
Another reason some people don’t go to church is the above excuse reversed. Rather than being the one criticizing others, they’re afraid others will criticize them for their own past sins. Sadly, in some cases, they’re not completely wrong. There really are those who would judge a person for things they have done in the past, so if you’re in a similar type of situation, understand this. There is only one true Judge. If God has placed the desire inside of you to attend His services, don’t let another person’s self-righteousness stand in your way.
Some of you might remember the song "Excuses." It’s an old comical song, yet with a truthful message. The lyrics of the chorus are:
Excuses, excuses, you’ll hear them everyday,
Now the devil he’ll supply them, if from church you stay away,
When people come to know The Lord, the devil always loses,
So to keep them folks away from church, he offers them excuses.
There are always excuses available. Some are pretty good, creatively speaking, but most have the disadvantage of being fairly transparent. And if we can see through them, it goes without saying that God can. Blaming others for our own lack of faithfulness might work for a time, but it won’t always. One day, when each of us have to stand and give an account for the things we did and didn’t do, we will learn quickly how often the blame actually fell at our own feet.
"Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith." (Romans 3:27)