"For it is written: 'As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.' So then each of us shall give account of himself to God."1
True, I wasn't responsible for my coming into the world, nor was I responsible for my upbringing. However, unless I am mentally impaired, I am totally responsible for what I do about my past, what I become, what I do, and for how I choose to behave and live my life.
The following is how one person expressed how many people in today's world view responsibility:
"If a man cuts his finger off while slicing salami at work, he blames the restaurant.
"If you smoke three packs of cigarettes a day for 40 years and die of lung cancer, your family blames the tobacco company.
"If your neighbor crashes into a tree while driving home drunk, he blames the bartender [or the tree for being in the way].
"If your grandchildren are brats without manners, you blame television.
"If your friend is shot by a deranged madman, you blame the gun manufacturer.
"And if a crazed person breaks into the cockpit and tries to kill the pilot at 35,000 feet, and the passengers kill him instead, the mother of the deceased blames the airline.
"I must have lived too long to understand the world as it is anymore. So, if I die while my old, wrinkled face is parked in front of this computer, I want you to blame Bill Gates!"2
What we need to teach and emphasize today from the cradle to the grave—and from the highest leadership positions in the land to the most humble positions no matter what these may be—is personal responsibility!
As Roy Smith said, "The ability to accept responsibility is the measure of the man." And as today's Scripture reminds us, all are responsible to and before God.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you will do for me what I cannot do, such as giving Jesus to die for my sins, but will not do anything for me that I am able to do for myself. Help me to learn to always be responsible and (if you have children) train my children by my example to learn responsibility. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Romans 14:11-12 (NKJV).
2. Author and source unknown.