Big Buts (Down the Line, Stran Smith)

This evening I filled in for our youth pastor at church and the subject of our class was “Big Buts.” Here are some examples:

  • We would have won the ball game BUT the referee made a mistake.
  • I would have passed Algebra BUT the teacher didn’t like me.
  • I would have won the rodeo BUT my calf kicked.

“Buts” or excuses are a dime a dozen and heard more often in non-professional sports than professional sports. Once an athlete becomes a professional, excuses should be minimal. It’s easy to find a reason why things didn’t go the way you wanted. It’s much harder to be totally honest with yourself.

An honest and good attitude can make “Buts” work in your favor: I didn’t do any good at the rodeo BUT my horse sure worked good.

One of the greatest injustices you can do to your kids is to make excuses for them. I hear a lot of people do this and think they don’t understand that they are giving their kid a free pass from trying to be their very best. It’s so important to be honest with yourself and each other as to why something didn’t work. There’s no shame in not being the best. However, there is shame in being dishonest about it. If you are an excuse maker then you will pass that down to your kids.

My rule is that I don’t make excuses. At the end of everything, ultimately there’s no excuse. If I miss a calf there’s really no excuse. There can be many reasons it doesn’t work out, but ultimately if he’s in the arena, I’m a professional and supposed to be able to catch him.

I hear a lot of people make excuses, but in reality if everything had gone perfectly it would have worked. Realizing your mistakes and addressing them helps you grow. Don’t lie to yourself and accept the easy excuses that make you feel better. You will never improve by giving yourself a free pass.

Till next time, God Bless, and I’ll see you down the line. If there’s something you want me to write about, drop me a line at

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