Summary: Today's sermon is part of a discipleship series on Building Lasting Values that looks at building up God's House within through Biblical Values. Today we're looking at the value of accepting our responsibility.
Building Lasting Values
Audio of today's message: https://mega.nz/#!fR8TEIib!4K8f5FcHrb-viKzNro4mUKZ-ApWfM1QnbH0O6audsNw
If I were to ask, “What’s our greatest ability,” most would say that they are good at one thing or another, like they’re good with their hands, good at fixing things, or maybe they’d say they’re good at gardening, writing, or fishing.
But may I suggest that our greatest ability is that of taking responsibility, or the ability to respond rightly to life. You might say it is one of the greatest gifts given to us by God. God has given to us the ability to choose how we respond to life’s difficult situations. Now, we all respond differently to the problems and difficulties we face in life, but we also respond differently to the various opportunities that come our way. And so, responsibility is all about choices.
Now most of life is out of our control, like where and when we were born, not to mention to whom. We also don’t get to choose a lot of the circumstances and events that happen either, like illnesses, death of loved ones, or even the choices people make that directly affect our lives. But we do have the freedom to chose how we react or respond to them, and because we have this freedom it makes us responsible, or can I say, “respond-able.”
You might say that responsibility is the great developer. It builds character and helps us grow. Winston Churchill said that responsibility was “The price of greatness.”
This morning in keeping with our series on discipleship in building up God’s House within through biblical values, what I have found is that taking and accepting personal responsibility for our choices is a vital component to building up the other values that we’ll need.
Looking at the decline in moral values, it’s pretty obvious there has been a decline in the acceptance of personal responsibility. Nobody wants to accept responsibility for anything. We want to accuse other people, making the situation their fault, while excusing ourselves in the process. We live in this blaming, accusing, and excusing society that won’t own up to its responsibility.
We see this attitude in three basic mind sets, which are completely opposite of personal responsibility.
A Rights Mentality
This is where we demand our rights. “I have my rights” is the rallying cry of this mind set. Our country today is obsessed with personal rights. We have criminal rights, computer rights, animal rights, children’s rights, victim’s rights, abortion rights, housing rights, privacy rights, along with the right to live, and the right to die. Our culture has reached the point where the obsession with individual rights is making it hard for us to think socially.
And so, along with the Bill of Rights, maybe we should also have a Bill of Responsibilities. We hear a lot about our rights, but we don’t hear much about our responsibilities given those rights. We hear a lot about entitlement, but hardly a word about obligations. And we hear a lot about freedom of choice, but unfortunately very little about commitment.
A Victim Mentality
This is where it’s never our fault. The rallying cry of this mind set is “This is not my fault, it’s someone or something else’s fault.”
An FBI agent embezzled $2,000 and lost it gambling in Atlantic City. They terminated him, but he wins reinstatement when the court ruled that his affinity for gambling with other people’s money is a handicap and thus protected under Federal law.
A school district employee was fired for consistent tardiness. He sues the school district arguing that he is the victim of Chronic Lateness Syndrome. Not sure if he won, but he sure was inventive.
A young man steals a car from a parking lot and is killed while driving it. It’s tragic, but His family sues the owner of the parking lot for failing to take steps to prevent such thefts.
We have become a nation of victims.
An Entitlement Mentality
This mentality believes that the world owes them a living. The rallying cry for this mind set is “You ought to take care of me.” This coupled with politician’s promises saying, “Vote for us and we’ll take care of you,” is why we now have a society of people who feel that they have the right not to work, but still be taken care of.
In stark contrast to these anti-values, the Bible says, “Live life with a sense of responsibility, not as those who don’t know the meaning of life, but as those who do.” (Ephesians 5:15 Phillips)
Now, notice the reason why we are to live life with a sense of responsibility. The more literal translation says not as fools but as being wise, which means we are to know God’s purpose along with our own.