For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. —II Corinthians 5:10 (NKJV)
Life is so designed that at some interval an individual must make a personal decision to accept or not accept responsibility. Unfortunately, everyone capable of making rational decisions does not choose to be responsible. Consequently, we live in a volcanic society erupting from immature, irresponsibleness and irrational behavior.
An identifiable trait of a responsible person is his ability to deal with the consequences of his decisions and actions. He does not blame others for his failures, misfortunes, mistakes and the challenging experiences he faces in life. He fulfills his obligations with the understanding that he is accountable for his own actions.
The irresponsible individual is just the opposite. His constant need to blame conditions and circumstances blind him to his predicament. He feels justified in blaming others and making excuses for not being responsible. Therefore, he continues to live haphazardly, as though he is accountable to no one.
The increase in lawlessness and unrestrained behavior in society is alarming. More disturbing is its dominance among youth. While all of society, directly or indirectly, suffers the consequences caused by the irresponsibleness of others, it is our children who will suffer the most if they are not taught the importance of being responsible. Therefore, it is a matter of great concern!
This matter should be of even greater concern to parents and the Church of Jesus Christ. The family unit and the Church have the God-given responsibility of making a positive difference in the lives of individuals. They have the power to mold and shape character, save lives and build up communities. The major responsibility of parents and guardians is to ensure the natural and spiritual development of their children, as well as other children in the community. Of course, this is not a popular belief in the twenty-first century. Responsible parents teach their children to be responsible. But what is more noteworthy is that children learn best by observing their parents and guardians, and often times mimic the actions of parents and other adults they see as role models.
The local church should assist families in fulfilling their responsibilities. A strong and stable family makes a strong and stable church. The Great Commission for the Church is to ‘make disciples…and teach them to observe all things…” This should include being responsible. It is the responsibility of the Church to minister to the whole man. However, if parents are irresponsible and Christians within the local church are immature and undisciplined, where does this leave the children? A question that should make us examine ourselves, wouldn’t you say?
The future of American youth depends on responsible role models today! Youth ministry within the local church cannot be casual and mediocre. Our youth are a central part of God’s plan for revival and kingdom building in the twenty-first century.
The first step to a brighter future in this country is realizing that God is the Source and Sustainer of life. We are to live according to His expectations, plans and purposes. Therefore, we are all accountable to Him. When this is comprehended and taken seriously, parents will stop trading places with their children—leaving them to raise themselves. Christians will stop conforming to the world and start reforming—seeking souls for Christ. Unbelievers will stop seeking self-gratification and realize their spiritual dilemma without a relationship with Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
It is urgent that Christians start doing what we are supposed to be doing! The day of accountability is rapidly approaching for us as it did for Adam and Eve, and the Noahic society. Life was intended to be a “Garden of Eden” experience. However, the tainted and deceptive influence of Satan infected the nature of the human race. This was the beginning of irresponsibility.
When the day came for Adam to answer to God for his disobedience, he did not take responsibility for his actions. Instead, he blamed Eve. And Eve did not accept responsibility for her action, but blamed the serpent. Although the serpent was the initiator, it was their decision to eat the forbidden fruit. They chose to disobey God. And the Bible does not record either one saying, “I sinned. It was my decision.” They chose to be irresponsible by their disobedience and passing the blame. Until this day, we are suffering the consequences caused by their decision.
Now each of us must make the same decision; we have a choice: obey or disobey. This decision must be made by children in regards to obeying their parents, and adults in regards to obeying God. Our greatest sense of responsibility is demonstrated by our obedience to God’s Word. Let’s take it a step farther. A personal sense of responsibility can be determined at this moment by honestly answering the following questions: Am I doing what God has commissioned me to do? Am I living according to His standards? Am I seeking God’s purpose for my life? Do I know my purpose in life? Am I doing what’s right even if others are not?
On the day of accountability there will be no one or ‘no-thing’ to blame. Jesus Christ already took the blame for us at Calvary! No excuse will justify an individual’s choice to be irresponsible.
How will you answer…? How will you give account for the good or bad things that you have done in your earthly body? (II Corinthians 5:10) It’s your call! Ultimately, it will be your choice.
©Queen E. F. Phillips