The Right Attitude Toward Personal Responsibility
Accepting personal responsibility is the right thing for every Christian. Members of the church of Christ, in the United States during the 21st century, have truly been blessed. However, with each blessing comes great responsibility. “The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” (Luke 12:46-48) Accepting personal responsibility for both your attitudes and your actions is a big thing to God. Once you know and are willing to accept personal responsibility you need to follow through on what is expected of you. Jesus wants us to understand our responsibility both to God and to man.
Christians are called by God to be responsible. God calls His people from all walks of life. He forgives us when we obey the gospel. “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38) To please God, however, we must continue to listen to and follow His instructions concerning what is acceptable behavior. We must live unto God. “For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.” (Luke 20:38) As we live this life responsibility is often seen everywhere. We see (1) responsibility toward government. “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” (Romans 13:1) (2) There is responsibility toward parents. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” (Ephesians 6:1), and (3) There is responsibility toward elders in the church. “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.” (Hebrews 13:17)
Fulfilling responsibility is not a burden, but rather a source of joy. “For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.” (Romans 14:7) God has blessed you with certain abilities. Happiness comes as you use those abilities in His service. This was the case of the men who had received the talents. (Matthew 25) Out of those involved in this lesson, which person was filled with joy? “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matthew 21:12) The use of our talents brings “the joy of the Lord.”
It is only right that we do our part in life. It is right to, (1) use your ability to help save others (Mark 16:15-16), (2) use your money to help those in need (Galatians 6:10), (3) Use your influence for the cause of Christ (Matthew 6:13-16), (4) do what you can for Jesus. “If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” (John 12:26)
Our responsibility leads to accountability to God: Accountability toward God is seen in the fact of final judgment. “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12) All will “stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” (Romans 14:10) Our deeds, good or bad are open before God. The Scriptures make it clear that God is not only recording what we say and do, but also that He will judge us according to that, and also according to what we do not say or do that we should have said or done.
We are responsible for many things. Luke-warmness is the result of people failing to fulfill their responsibility. We all know the consequence of being lukewarm. (Revelation 3:14-22) Let us all become children of God (Galatians 3:26-27) and be ready for every good work. (Titus 3:1)
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA