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Luke 6:31 – And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
The word Responsibility has been defined as “the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something” and, out of the many definitions that are available, this is the one that most fits what this post is all about. Really, the portion that reads, “…having a duty to deal with something” more clearly and closely resonates with our intention in this message. In today’s post, I’m going to simply lay the foundation of the fact that we must take responsibility for both our proactive actions and our reactive actions.
In Part 2, I will list some specific areas that Christians face in day-to-day life where, if we are taking responsibility for our responses, we can and will have the proper response in any given situation; even those situations that seem really crazy or to which there seems to be no right answer, so stay tuned for that!
A lot of people will tell you that one of their weaknesses is that they do not always have the best responses to things. Oh sure, they know what they should do and may even tell themselves “The next time this happens, I’ll have a better response to it” or “The next time that happens, I’ll have a better response to it” only to find that when the next test and opportunity comes along, they fail that test miserably also! Why is this?
One reason for this could be that they only limit themselves to isolated situations, meaning they tell themselves “The next time this happens or that happens, I’ll have a better response” only to find that when something other than what they’ve called “this or that” happens, they have the same negative response they’ve always had. They weren’t prepared for something other than what they had prepared for and because they weren’t prepared for something other than “this or that”, they also were not prepared with a proper response, and the cycle goes on and on like that!
It is only through taking responsibility for our responses in general that we will be more equipped to handle any situation that arises because we will have a shift in our mentality overall and not just limit ourselves to being ready only for singular situations, which may or may not even occur again.
It seems that in our time, people are more concerned with being allowed to have whatever response they want to have, or think they should be allowed to have, rather than simply taking responsibility for their actions.
Responsibility is never a fun topic to deal with because it reminds us that we have “a duty to deal with something”, but, I think a good question to ask is, “Does something have to be fun in order for it to be worth our time and effort in dealing with it?” I think we all innately know the answer to that question to be “No!”. Yet, in an effort to make life all about having fun, people go on for years dealing with the negative outcomes of their actions when many of those problems could be dealt with very quickly through a sincere prayer and willingness to be changed by God.
It’s been shared that everything worthwhile is uphill from where you currently are, meaning it’s going to take an effort to get there. This is the case whether it be physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. It takes effort to move to higher ground because there are natural forces of physical gravity, mental gravity, emotional gravity, and spiritual gravity all working to pull you down.
Maybe five minutes after I started putting this post together, I came across this quote from leadership speaker and author Stephen Covey which reads, “Accountability breeds response-ability”. I had never read this quote before, but it speaks to me about how that when we are held accountable for our actions we are not only more likely to have a response, but to have the right response. You may be surprised (or not so surprised if you’re in the people-leading business) at how many people don’t have any kind of definite response when asked certain questions.
Being held accountable for our actions also means we will tend to have a better ability to respond, because we are expected to be prepared to give a response, which may also lead to having a better quality response (or at least it should).
As I mentioned earlier, in Part 2 I would like to list some specific areas that Christians face in day-to-day life where, if we are taking responsibility for our responses, we can and will have the proper response in any given situation even if it’s a crazy situation or one in which there seems to be no right answer. See you in the next article!