Accepting responsibility is something very easy to do when things go right, but how hard is it to look in the mirror and accept responsibility when things go wrong? I think it would be safe to say all people desire success and for things to go right. It brings satisfaction, a sense of accomplishment, approval of others, happiness, joy and, let’s face it, feeds our “pride!” Which can be a huge downfall! But what about when things go wrong and don’t go as planned or hoped for???

Taking responsibility for our lives and the events that happen, good or bad, all works together for our good if we are willing to live on both sides of the “ball!” It is when we only take the responsibility and ownership for things going well that we find ourselves headed down a road of denial and mediocrity.

We all like to feel important and want others to have a high opinion of us. Some, more than others, get so wrapped up in the “reputation thing”, that taking responsibility becomes distant, and denial sets in. The “BLAME GAME.” The inability to accept responsibility for our actions and behaviors is really a result of our own insecurity. When taking responsibility for a bad outcome, some feel it means giving into being weak, powerless or losing the respect of others. In reality, taking responsibility gains RESPECT! Being willing to “look in the mirror” and say this outcome was partly my fault or, as a leader, taking full responsibility, realizing “YOU ARE IN CHARGE,” if you have the ultimate say and are the boss! Realizing the buck stops with YOU.

As a parent, and one of the two leaders in our home, responsibility is a huge thing. It is something I am held accountable for my entire life. Once a parent, always a parent. The responsibility of that role never leaves. I believe as a leader in the home, work, school, etc., if you are the “One in Charge,” YOU have to be the first to look in the mirror and ask yourself, “What could I have done differently? What do I need to do to make changes? What is MY RESPONSIBILITY IN THIS? Do I need to go to our kids and say, ‘You know what, I was wrong here?'” Even though our kids are young adults, I step back and look at mistakes I have made as a parent. I go back to them and say, “You know what, I was wrong here. Please forgive me and let me share what I should have done and what I think should be done in the future.”

What I have found is that it is NEVER TOO LATE to RETRAIN, REDIRECT AND SAY, “I AM SORRY”. There is a strong and unwavering principle in the Bible. It happens 100% of the time. It is the law of reaping what you sow! Galatians 6:7 states, “God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” There is a book I read, “The Principle of the Path” by Andy Stanley. Andy is a phenomenal communicator and teacher and is considered one of the most effective and wise “preachers of our times.” He is the pastor of North Point Community Church in Atlanta, Georgia. I have read this book 3 times and I am now on my fourth time of reading it. It is the best book I have ever read regarding “taking responsibility for your actions and choices”. It goes into detail explaining the principle of sowing and reaping! This book has HIGHLIGHTED the importance of TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR my/your choices and it has shown me the question you have seen me journal, “How’s that working for ya?” Meaning, if things are NOT going right, or you are not getting the desired outcome you are looking for, then maybe, just maybe, I/YOU should step back and say, “Maybe there needs to be a change.” Maybe we need to say to ourselves “If you do what you have always done, then you get what you always gotten!” Meaning, you may need to change how you do things in order to see a different result. Just because it worked in the past doesn’t mean it is still working today. Things do change. Just look at how communication has changed in the past ten years with cell phones, internet, Skype, etc. When things change, maybe we need to change.

The book also points out a very true principle, learn from other people’s mistakes or successes. He points out how valuable time is and that if someone is having great success, look at what they are doing. Don’t be PRIDEFUL and think you know it all. And, on the flip side, if someone is FAILING, look at what they are doing and make sure you DON’T DO IT. Thus saving TIME AND HEARTACHE! I encourage everyone reading this journal to get the book. The people who I have shared this book with, and have read it, have come back to me and thanked me. (which means it is a REALLY GREAT BOOK!)

The things that will never change are the principles of “reaping what you sow” and taking RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS. We all have choices and we all have responsibilities. As parents and leaders in wherever God has you, realize…WE WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR OUTCOMES. We may not want to hear this but it is true and has been lived out countless times in history. THE great news is that, if you start today, taking responsibility and implementing the thought of “I am responsible,” then you are taking the first step to POSITIVE CHANGE.

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