Friday, 19 July 2013

Responsibility - measure with the right yardstick

Responsibility is a strange word in many respects. We can expect others to be responsible and yet not consider our own actions, attitudes and words through the lens of being responsible for them. Its OK to hold others to account but when they try to hold us to account we can get cross, react badly and try to make ourselves feel better about it by soliciting others to our case.

Sounds a bit like any soup opera on the TV, the ability to do what suits me but not wanting responsibility for the impact that that has on others. Yet sometimes as Christians we play out the same drama as if its all OK almost as if the result we want makes how we achieve it fine. But actually its not fine, its never fine to be careless as a Christian about the things we do or say and the attitudes that we hold. David found this out when he took what he desired, Bathsheba, even though she was someone else's wife and God disciplined both of them. Peter when he erred towards the old Jewish practices rather than stick with what the church council had agreed had Paul on his case to correct him.

In both cases they had chosen to act and their actions had not met the standard required of God's people. Possibly one acted on impulse after all he was King so he could have whatever he wanted and who would dare question his choices or actions? The other may have been bowing to people pressure, taking an easier option for a while. We can't tell for sure.

What about those of us who are Christians? How often do we actually reflect on our actions or words or lack of them? How often do we consider before we do something?

Paul tells us to take captive every thought to make them conform to the ways of Christ. In effect be responsible for what we do, say, omit, don't do or say - measure them with the right yardstick - Christ. Every Christian has been given the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide us and lead us into all truth. Let's be responsible for the thoughts of our hearts and the words of our mouths and not justify them by our own, often skewed, agendas, desires and emotions.

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