Accepting Personal Responsibility

personal responsibility
Accept Responsibility
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“And Adam said: The woman, whom thou gavest me to be my companion, gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
13 And the Lord God said to the woman: Why hast thou done this? And she answered: The serpent deceived me, and I did eat.”
Genesis 3:12-13 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

1 Peter 4:7-11 International Children’s Bible (ICB) The time is near when all things will end. So keep your minds clear, and control yourselves. Then you will be able to pray. 8 Most importantly, love each other deeply. Love has a way of not looking at others’ sins. 9 Open your homes to each other, without complaining. 10 Each of you received a spiritual gift. God has shown you his grace in giving you different gifts. And you are like servants who are responsible for using God’s gifts. So be good servants and use your gifts to serve each other. 11 Anyone who speaks should speak words from God. The person who serves should serve with the strength that God gives. You should do these things so that in everything God will be praised through Jesus Christ. Power and glory belong to him forever and ever. Amen.

When we pass the blame onto others, we fail to accept personal responsibility. Playing the blame game, passing the buck, making excuses or complaining will never lead to repentance; if you do not believe you did anything wrong, you will not feel the need to change. Why use Adam and Eve as an example? “And the Lord God gave a charge to Adam, saying, Of every tree which is in the garden you may freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil-of it you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17 The Apostle’s Bible (AB). We get at least three truths from this event that apply to all people:

Truth #1 – God gave Adam the personal responsibility to choose—obey or suffer the consequence of eternal death and lose a chance to have eternal life {very important note: the ‘tree of life‘ was also in the garden (Genesis 2:9; Genesis 3:22-24)}.
Truth #2 – God held Adam and Eve accountable, they had to give an explanation for their actions. NOTE: we will also be held accountable for our words and actions (explained below); by adding one word to God’s word, the serpent deceived Eve.
Truth #3 – God rendered judgment as a result of the actions of Adam, Eve and the serpent.
Definitions

Responsible – able to answer for your conduct and obligations and choose between right and wrong; to be answerable or accountable, as for your ways, words and thoughts. “Being the one who must meet an obligation or suffer the consequences for failing to do so” — merriam-webster.com

Accountable – required {held responsible or obligated} to explain to God what we said {our words spoken to or against others}, did {our actions, works or deeds} and thought {our desires, motives and ideas} in this life. Required to explain to God what we said, did and thought in this life.

There is a gradual development of accountability accompanying the growth of a human being from infancy to maturity; and there is a similar development in the race, as knowledge grows from less to more. In the full light of the gospel human beings are far more responsible than they were in earlier stages of intellectual and spiritual development, and the doom to which they will be exposed on the day of account will be heavy in proportion to their privileges. James Stalker via ISBE

Accept Personal Responsibility – You will be accountable

We must accept personal responsibility for our actions, choices and decisions. The time will come when we will be held accountable to God. Before this article I did not give thought to the difference between accountability and responsibility. To my surprise the word responsible and responsibility are not in the KJV. Does that mean we are not responsible for what we do and say? Before going further, let’s look at the definitions of the two terms.

Personal Accountability

God will hold us accountable:

  • For what we say – words that do not teach, inform, or nurture in a beneficial way – Matthew 12:36-37 (RKJNT) “But I say to you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account of on the day of judgment. 37 “For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned.” [Ephesians 5:4-6; Jude 1:12-15 (focus verse 15)]
  • For what we do – our works, i.e., what we do in this life; your actions – Matthew 16:27 (AUV) “For the Son of man will return in the splendor of His Father, accompanied by His angels. Then He will reward or punish every person in proportion to what he has done [with his life].” Romans 14:10c and 12 (ERV) “We will all stand before God, and he will judge us all. So each of us will have to explain to God about the things we do.” [Ecclesiastes 12:9-14 (focus verse 14); Jude 1:12-15 (focus verse 15)]
  • For what we think and desire (I only provide a summary of this) – Hebrews 4:12-13 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV) God’s word is alive and working. It is sharper than the sharpest sword and cuts all the way into us. It cuts deep to the place where the soul and the spirit are joined. God’s word cuts to the center of our joints and our bones. It judges the thoughts and feelings in our hearts. 13 Nothing in all the world can be hidden from God. He can clearly see all things. Everything is open before him. And to him we must explain the way we have lived. [For a better understanding, please read Jeremiah 17:9-10; Ephesians 5:1-20 (focus verses: 5-6; covetous {thoughts and desires} bring God’s wrath); Revelation 2:18-29 (focus verse: 23)]
Personal Responsibility
For What You Say
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“Accept Personal Responsibility – Obscene language, silly talk, or vulgar jokes aren’t acceptable for believers. Instead, there should be thanksgiving.”
Ephesians 5:4 (CEB)

Your words

Jude 1:14-16 International Children’s Bible (ICB) Enoch, the seventh descendant from Adam, said this about these people: “Look, the Lord is coming with thousands and thousands of his holy angels. 15 The Lord will judge every person. He is coming to judge everyone and to punish all who are against God. He will punish them for all the evil they have done against him. And he will punish the sinners who are against God. He will punish them for all the evil things they have said against him.” 16 These people always complain and blame others. They always do the evil things they want to do. They brag about themselves. The only reason they say good things about other people is to get what they want. [Jude quotes from a writing that is not included in our Bible 1 Enoch see verse 9]

As you consider accepting personal responsibility, know that God will hold you accountable for what you say in this life. “The devil made me say it” will not excuse you. Jesus helps us understand; by your λόγος logos—your words, you will be δικαιόω dikaioo (dik-ai-oh’-o)—innocent; righteous or καταδικάζω katadikazo—guilty; condemned.

Ephesians 4:29 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW) Don’t say anything that would hurt another person. Instead, speak only what is good so that you can give help wherever it is needed. That way, what you say will help those who hear you. [Ephesians 4:25-32 (focus verse: 29 and 31; ) compare Zechariah 8:16]

Colossians 4:5-6 (CEV) When you are with unbelievers, always make good use of the time. 6 Be pleasant and hold their interest when you speak the message. Choose your words carefully and be ready to give answers to anyone who asks questions. [Colossians 4:2-6; Proverbs 15:4, 16:21]

Words are important

If you are not convinced that what we say is important, please understand, logos (the word) is the only thing the devil steals. Mark 4:14-15 “The sower soweth the word {logos}. 15 And these are they by the way side, where the word {logos} is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word {logos} that was sown in their hearts.” [To better understand, please read Mark 4:13-20 (compare Matthew 13:18-23; Luke 8:11-15)]. Words are extremely important, Jesus says John 8:51 Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying {logos}, he shall never see death.

Ecclesiastes 5:4-7 World English Bible (WEB) When you vow a vow to God, don’t defer to pay it; for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay that which you vow. 5 It is better that you should not vow, than that you should vow and not pay. 6 Don’t allow your mouth to lead you into sin. Don’t protest before the messenger that this was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice, and destroy the work of your hands? 7 For in the multitude of dreams there are vanities, as well as in many words: but you must fear God. [Read Ecclesiastes 5:1-7].

Matthew 12:33-37 Disciples’ Literal New Testament (DLNT) Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad. For the tree is known by the fruit. 34 Brood of vipers! How are you able to speak good things, being evil? For the mouth speaks out of the abundance of the heart— 35 the good person brings out good things from his good treasure, and the evil person brings out evil things from his evil treasure. 36 And I say to you that every useless word which people will speak— they will render an account for it on the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be declared-righteous, and by your words you will be condemned”.

Personal Responsibility
For What You Do
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“We will all stand before Christ to be judged – each of us will have to answer to God for what we have done.”
from Romans 14:10 & 12

Your actions

Matthew 16:24-27 (AUV) Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to be my follower, he should deny self [i.e., of always having its own way] and lift up his cross [of responsibility] and [then he can] become my follower. 25 For whoever would [try to] save his life [i.e., by neglecting spiritual things] will lose it [i.e., miss out on the blessings of God]. But whoever [is willing to] lose his life [i.e., in commitment to God’s service] for my sake will find it [i.e., obtain both temporal and spiritual blessings]. 26 For what benefit is it to a person if he gains the whole world [of material things] but [has to] give up his life [i.e., all the spiritual blessings]? Or what should a person give in exchange for his life? 27 For the Son of man will return in the splendor of His Father, accompanied by His angels. Then He will reward or punish every person in proportion to what he has done [with his life].

Continue to accept personal responsibility, because God will hold you accountable for what you do in this life. The Scriptures give an example in Ezekiel 18, it begins with a proverb ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’. The child will no longer be held responsible or accountable for the sins of the parent [see Ezekiel 18:1-4]. Ezekiel 18:14-20 makes it clear that the righteous son of a sinful father will not be held accountable for his fathers sin(s).

Romans 2:6 Expanded Bible (EXB) God will reward or punish [give back to; repay] every person for what that person has done.

Romans 14:10-12 Catholic Public Domain Version (CPDV) So then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written: “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bend to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” 12 And so, each one of us shall offer an explanation of himself to God.

For the non-believer

Of course there are some who do not believe God exists and others believe that God is so loving that He will not punish or hold them personally responsible or accountable for what they do. I will not go into detail in this article on the deep discussion of who will be punished and the type of punishment. Please consider Psalms 10:4 in the Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) “Every scheme of the wicked in his arrogance [says], “There is no God, [so] it won’t be held against me.”

Psalms 10:3-11 (HCSB) For the wicked one boasts about his own cravings; the one who is greedy curses and despises the Lord. 4 In all his scheming, the wicked arrogantly thinks: “There is no accountability, since God does not exist.” 5 His ways are always secure; Your lofty judgments are beyond his sight; he scoffs at all his adversaries. 6 He says to himself, “I will never be moved—from generation to generation without calamity.” 7 Cursing, deceit, and violence fill his mouth; trouble and malice are under his tongue. 8 He waits in ambush near the villages; he kills the innocent in secret places; his eyes are on the lookout for the helpless. 9 He lurks in secret like a lion in a thicket. He lurks in order to seize the afflicted. He seizes the afflicted and drags him in his net. 10 He crouches and bends down; the helpless fall because of his strength. 11 He says to himself, “God has forgotten; He hides His face and will never see.”

Scriptures to read and study

Proverbs 2:1-15 (TLB); Matthew 6:19-34 (MSG); Luke 12:57-59 (NCV); Luke 14:25-35 (NCV); Romans 7:13-25 (MSG); Romans 12 (NCV); Romans 2:1-16 (focus verses: 5-9 and 16); Ephesians 5:1-6; 2 Corinthians 5:9-11; Hebrews 4:11-13; James 1:21-27 {reference James 3:1-12, 4:11-12}

personal responsibility
Conclusion

2 Corinthians 5:9-10 (RKJNT) Therefore we labour, that whether at home or absent, we may please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive what is due him for the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

Accepting personal responsibility for the things you do and say can be challenging, but it is for your good. I pray that this lesson has helped to give enough Scriptural insight to make it easier. God bless you in your natural and Spiritual life; until the next time, take care—Tim.

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Last update: Sunday, March 29, 2015


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One Comment:


  1. Thursday, June 22, 2017
    #Proverbs #wisdom says, ‘Do not agree to #guarantee (co-sign) another #person’s #debt (loan) or put up #security (collateral) for someone else’.

    Message in the picture:
    “Do not co-sign for someone else – from Proverbs 22:26 – Proverbs wisdom #3”

    Scripture for the day:
    Proverbs 22:26-27 Don’t agree to guarantee another person’s debt or put up security for someone else.

    27 If you can’t pay it, even your bed will be snatched from under you.
    [New Living Translation (NLT)]

    STM Proverbs Wisdom series – wisdom number 3
    #wisdom #responsibility

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