"The sluggard says, 'There is a lion outside; I will be killed in the streets'" (Proverbs 22:13).
This is one of many verses in the book of Proverbs that talks about the sluggard. The sluggard is lazy. He doesn't want to do anything or fulfill his responsibilities. Instead, he makes excuses ("There is a lion outside"). Is it a legitimate excuse? Is there really a lion outside lying in wait for him? It doesn't matter. His slothfulness has made him believe in the possibility of a lion outside, therefore, just in case, he will decide to stay inside.
The sad thing is that we do the same thing today. We make excuses, legitimate or not, for not doing what we are responsible for, or what we can accomplish. Instead of making excuses, we ought to look for solutions to dealing with whatever obstacles we face.
"There is a lion outside." This was the sluggard's excuse. What should he have done? Find a solution. What possible solutions would there be for dealing with this problem? Either kill the lion or avoid the lion.
The same is true for us. Find a solution. Eliminate the problem or work around the problem.
There are many areas of life where we could apply this principle. But let's consider one that relates to our service to God -- sharing the gospel with others.
Do you avoid talking to someone about the gospel because you don't know what to say? Eliminate the problem: study, prepare for anticipated questions and responses. Or work around the problem: invite them to church services or a Bible study with you and a preacher or elder. But don't envision failure ("I will be killed in the streets") and then do nothing.
Look for solutions, not excuses. If "there is a lion outside," do something about it.