Responsibility is a great principle. It encompasses all that you can become or NOT. I can honestly say that in our society it is a word we need to seriously look at and decide individually if we are “responsible.” This is a rich word and one that if just addressed personally…can affect every aspect of your life. I love how Andy Stanley teaches us to ask ourselves the question, “Are we responsible…REALLY?”

In every area of our lives…we need to be responsible. I have heard it said when people go to counseling… especially for marriage issues…if each individual would just become responsible for their own actions, many marriages would be saved! I totally agree. So many times we can take the quality of our lives to new heights if we just look at the area of personal responsibility. I am a work in progress, but I would like to couch some areas that I have been looking at myself and maybe you would want to consider them for yourself.

No one can sleep for me, eat for me, speak for me, think for me, or represent me but me! No matter what my/your/our past is…I know God has a future for all of us. I find many times we can stay in a victim mindset, stuck in our situations that we are not happy in or thriving in. The only way to change those situations is realizing the need to take personal responsibility for your life, choices and actions. So far…your life may not be what you had hoped for but realize it doesn’t have to stay that way and also realize that if you don’t take responsibility for your life…NO ONE ELSE WILL.

Back 9 Ministries was founded on the verse found in Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.” This 13 word verse is very powerful if you really dig in and understand all that it encompasses. When the Bible speaks about your heart….in essence it encompasses the mind as well…guarding your heart…means protecting yourself and what you allow to come in…and what you allow to go out. “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” (from Luke 6:45)

God first and foremost wants to own your heart…that would mean me/you/us surrendering our life to Christ and allowing Him to come into our heart. The Holy Spirit then dwells within and guides me/you/us. I Corinthians 3:16, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” It is easy to be deceived in our flesh…there is a constant battle within me…to not give into my flesh (human nature) but to relinquish my will, on a daily basis, to God’s voice in my life. When I have done this …it did not rid my life of problems and adversity…but the navigation has provided great direction and brought peace and a comfort on the way to a “great destination.”

Where does responsibility come in? Well, no one can do this for me but me….no one is responsible for my life but me…my actions, my decisions and my responses. Even though I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a sister-in-law, an aunt, a niece, a friend….and I love being all of those….no one is responsible for being all those things but me! In order to be the best at all of those things…I have responsibilities in all of those areas and scripture is full of direction for doing all of those things well.

In order to do those things well, it starts with me…taking care of me. Scripture calls the body a temple. Let’s just look at that for a minute….if my body is a temple and I am not getting enough sleep, not eating right, not getting enough exercise…and the temple goes down hill, then the responsibilities I have will not be done as well. If I don’t take care of me….then ultimately someone may have to pick up “MY SLACK”…which would be irresponsible on my part.

We all need to take the responsibility for caring for ourselves so that our responsibility doesn’t become someone else’s. I realize there are many cases where we cannot help getting sick…like cancer….and other dreadful diseases that attack. At that point, it becomes “ministry” to care for someone else. But many times, it is our irresponsibility that brings on things… that affect our ability to be responsible. WE all (ME included) need to take steps to look at this and make needed adjustments to becoming Responsible. The body is just one area we all need to examine.

How about how we think? Who do we allow to impact the way we think, process and look at all of life’s situations? Have you ever stopped to think as an adult that the way you grew up is “your normal?” It may be “what you know and saw and are comfortable with,” but have you considered that it may not be God’s normal or standard?

At 52, I have realized just in my own life…I needed to take my adult self and line it up with God’s Word…and “not just accept the familiar as normal and good”. Too many times I have witnessed firsthand people repeating and reliving “their normal” from growing up because that is all they know or have experienced. They don’t know what they don’t know (it is the main reason abuse is reproduced in the next generation…because that is their normal). But if you are a Christian, at some point, you/we are held responsible for seeking and knowing God’s standard…not what we think, or our parents think, or how we grew up, but what God thinks and says in his written Word, the Bible.

I have had to go back to all three of our children and say, “I know I told you that God was number one in my life and I thought He was. But for this period of time when you were growing up…even though I said it…He was not. I don’t want you to think…that is what it looks like……” I didn’t want them to take those few years of God actually being second in my life….but me telling them that God was first….to be what they thought was the “normal” way of God being first. I didn’t want them to think THAT was what it looked like….YIKES!…….I have said….”Look back at those years and know that is not what God being first looks like. Don’t let that be your normal.” Hopefully today, and the last 6 years, they can watch and see what God’s standard for being First is in my life!

What is your normal? Do you consider yourself to be a responsible person? In what areas of your life are you “dropping the ball on responsibility?”

If we are all honest with ourselves…we know…there are areas…that you/I/we need to look at.

What we reward gets repeated.

We do not need to feed nor reward irresponsibility in our lives. Ignoring is rewarding. Take a look at this in your own life today–not your spouse, your children, extended family, your boss, etc. You get the picture.

Ultimately, the only thing you can control and do something about is YOU…the Great news is there is a God who is waiting to help you in every area of your life to become responsible, to empower you to do things…that you may not think you can do on your own. He is the Master…at Helping you reach new heights!

Romans 12:1-2, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

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