Pastoral Commentary: Now is the time to make right decisions and be responsible
By Steve Triplett, Preacher, Pratt Church of Christ
You may have heard about the fellow who went in for a job interview. During the interview he was asked if he thought he was responsible enough for the job he was seeking.
“Oh yes!” he replied, “Previous employers thought I was very responsible.”
The interviewer wondered about that since the man’s resume indicated he had been let go from several jobs. So, the interviewer asked, “What makes you think that?”
“Well,” he said, “Every time something went wrong in one of my previous jobs, I was told I was responsible.”
Though this story is fictitious and meant to be humorous it does remind us that we need to learn to take responsibility for our actions.
Taking personal responsibility and being accountable for one’s actions is part of growing up and maturing.
But many who are considered adults by their physical age still need to grow up and mature when it comes to taking personal responsibility and being accountable for their actions. When they must face the fact that they have failed in some area of their lives, they try to shift the blame to something or someone else. They blame society. They blame the government. They blame their parents. They blame the environment in which they grew up or currently live in. They blame their boss. They blame a co-worker. They blame a teacher. They blame a coach. They blame _____ (you fill in the blank).
We see several examples of Bible characters “playing the blame game,” pointing an accusing finger at somebody else instead of taking personal responsibility for their mistakes. You don’t have to read very far in the Bible before you come upon Adam and Eve trying to shift the blame for their transgression in the garden (Genesis 3:12, 13). Adam blames Eve (and even God in a roundabout way since God gave Eve to him). Eve in turn blames the serpent.
Keep reading and you come to Aaron blaming the Israelites after he led them in making and worshipping a golden calf (Exodus 32:22-24).
Later in 1 Samuel 15 we see King Saul blames the people after he failed to carry out the Lord’s command to wipe out the Amalekites. Each of these Biblical characters (as well as others we could note) failed to take personal responsibility and hold themselves accountable for their actions. Then, as now, it was easier to try and push the blame off on someone else.
No doubt, other people can influence us, encourage or discourage us, help us or hinder us. But when it comes right down to it (judgment day), we are personally responsible and will be held accountable for the decisions we make and the actions we take, both positively and negatively.
2 Corinthians 5:10 says, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”
“Each one” (each person) will be responsible and held accountable for their actions, good or evil.
When we stand before God, we won’t be able to benefit from the godliness of others nor blame our failures on others. We will be personally responsible. Now is the time to make the right decisions and take the right actions that will result in our salvation on that day when we will be held personally responsible (2 Corinthians 6:2).