SPEAKING TRUTH: It’s time to start being responsible
Were you one that got up for school when you were told or did you just lay there as long as possible? What about when it came to picking up toys? Did you easily comply with picking them up, or did you pretend like you did not hear? How about brushing your teeth, did regularly brushing come easy, or did you fight doing it every morning and evening?
These are all small lessons of responsibility for young children. If boys and girls are taught responsibility in their early years, through the influence of their parents or grandparents, then they will be responsible adults. If a dad can teach his little boy to be responsible to make his bed on his own, then one day he will grow up to be responsible with more important things; like his money. If a mom can instruct her young daughter to be responsible in doing her homework, then one day she will grow up to be responsible with more important things; like the direction of her life. If small children are taught responsibility in the small things, then they will grow up to be responsible in the bigger and more important things.
Left to themselves, irresponsibility is normal for all children. That is why it requires the intentional and persistent effort to build responsibility into the child at home.
The Bible offers this insight, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” (1 Corinthians 13:11) What is one childish way? Irresponsibility. Consequently, the sign of adulthood is taking responsibility.
But what if a child was never taught this? Then he or she is likely to grow up and become a reckless, ungrateful and disobedient man or woman. They grow up to become their own worst enemy.
There was once a story of a man like this. His name was Jonah and God told him, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” (Jonah 1:2) But Jonah had a strong will and resisted God, so he “rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.” (Jon. 1:3) Instead of Jonah accepting the responsibility and going, he became irresponsible and ran. As a result, he put his life and the lives of others in great danger. Finally, at his lowest point he came to his senses and said, “When my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple.” (Jon. 2:7) Eventually, God’s patience taught Jonah responsibility, where he accepted God’s call and went to Nineveh where tens of thousands of lives where changed.
One day, like Jonah, all humanity is going to have to accept personal responsibility before God. Every person will stand before Him to give an account for their lives, and there will be no excuses or blaming others. God says, “The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son.” (Ezekiel 18:20) This means, we will all answer before God individually; not as a couple, a family or church, but one on one with the Creator God. Therefore, the guilt of our parents or others, will have no bearing on us before Him. Yes, others influence us, but ultimately, we are the ones who are responsible or irresponsible in the choices we make. It rests at our feet alone.
A prayer for you: Lord God, I pray that people will raise up to take personal responsibility for their lives and eternal souls. Bring them to see the urgency of ordering their lives after the ways of God and to take responsible steps to do that today, beginning with placing their simple faith in you. In Jesus name. Amen.