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I Will

Irresponsibility plagues our society.  "It's not my job," "It's not my fault," and "Don't blame me" are the mantras for a society that expects someone else to do the job.  This is seen in marriage (blame the other spouse), parenting (blame the other parent, the children, or the school), employment (blame the boss or a coworker), politics (blame the other party), business (put it in fine print, blame the consumer), and many other areas.  Casting off responsibility has become an art form, and there are many masters of the craft.

Christians are not immune to this condition.  We can "pass the buck" to the elders, the deacons, the preacher, the willing teachers, the older Christians, the younger Christians, or anyone else in the church.  After we have leaned on others to do the work we should have done, we can blame them if something goes wrong.  We can even be critical of them when their work does not meet our expectations, although we were unwilling to do the work ourselves.

Contrary to this worldly attitude of irresponsibility, God calls us to be responsible and accountable.  We are all stewards of our own abilities, resources, and opportunities, and we will have to answer to the Lord for how we use them (Matt. 25:14-30; Luke 12:35-48; 2Cor. 5:10).  In that day, there will be no excuses, and the Lord will not allow us to shift blame to others for our own responsibilities.

With this in mind, it behooves every Christian to take responsibility for himself now.  Each Christian must resolve to understand what his rightful, God-given responsibility is and then work to fulfill it.  Of course, the law of Christ requires us to "bear one another's burdens" (Gal. 6:2), but it also demands that "each one will bear his own load" (Gal. 6:5).  This is not a contradiction, but rather it simply means that Christians are to help one another in times of weakness.  If we are weak, then our brethren should help us, but we are not to seek to be weak as an excuse for heaping our burdens on others.

Therefore, let each of us make a commitment to being responsible by asking a series of questions, all of which have the same answer: "I will."  Consider these questions:

  • Who will take      care of the needs of my family, including my elderly parents?  Answer: I will.  "But if anyone does not provide for his      own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith      and is worse than an unbeliever" (1Tim. 5:8; see also Eph. 6:2-3; 1Tim.      5:3-4).
  • As a husband,      who will sacrifice for the needs of my wife?  Answer: I will.  "Husbands, love your wives, just as      Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her" (Eph. 5:25).
  • As a father,      who will teach my children the word of God?  Answer: I will.  "Fathers, do not provoke your children      to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord"      (Eph. 6:4).
  • As a woman,      who will love my family and take care of our home?  Answer: I will.  "...so that they may encourage the young      women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible,      pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that      the word of God will not be dishonored" (Tit. 2:4-5).
  • Who will      teach the word of God to others?       Answer: I will.  "The things      which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust      these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (2Tim. 2:2;      see also 2Tim. 4:1-2; Heb. 5:12).
  • As a      Christian man, who will take an active role in the assemblies of the      church?  Answer: I will.  "What is the outcome then, brethren?  When you assemble, each one has a psalm,      has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation.  Let all things be done for edification"      (1Cor. 14:26).
  • As a young      person, who will demonstrate what it means to believe in Christ?  Answer: I will.  "Let no one look down on your      youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show      yourself an example of those who believe" (1Tim. 4:12).
  • As an older      person, who will bear fruit for the Lord?       Answer: I will.  "13Planted      in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God.  14They will still yield fruit      in old age; they shall be full of sap and very green, 15to      declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no      unrighteousness in Him" (Ps. 92:13-15).

These questions could go on and on, but the point is already well made.  Each Christian must recognize what his responsibility is in his or her particular role and stage of life.  Each one must then work to fulfill that responsibility rather than attempting to pass it to others.  Finally, each of us must answer one last question: Who will give an account for the responsibility I have?  Answer: I will.

Stacey E. Durham



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