Weekly Blog: Take Personal Responsibility
Mar 27, 2017 1356
It’s important to take personal responsibility for who we are and what we’ve done. As I’ve been writing about my family history, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my past, and the experiences of my parents and grandparents.
I have enough ammunition in my family history to blame everyone else in my family for most of the bad stuff that’s ever happened to me. But of course, that’s not a helpful attitude to take. It is far better to actually take responsibility for the choices we’ve made and for the things we’ve done. The truth is that everyone in my family tree could probably blame others if they wanted to, and everyone has probably done the best that they could with what they knew and what they had experienced in life.
It seems too common to blame others for anything that happens that we don’t like. We often refuse to take responsibility for who we are, for our relationships, and for our behaviours.
But this is nothing new. It’s how it’s been since sin came into the world.
When Adam and Eve first disobeyed God (Genesis 3), Adam blames Eve, and Eve blames the serpent, and the serpent says nothing, and no one takes responsibility.
In Genesis 4:10, the Lord asks Cain a question, and it’s a question that he asks each one of us.
The Lord said, “What have you done?” (Gen 4:10).
Cain had just killed his brother. Still he tries to face up to the issue with the classic line,
Am I my brother’s keeper? (v.4).
It’s good to come to a point in your life where you’re thinking about yourself and your role in the world of chaos around you. It’s a good thing because most people never get to that point. They just go through life being entirely self-absorbed and oblivious to their own impact on their relationships and on others. To be self-aware is a wonderful gift! I have found that it is the beginning of acceptance, peace, and joy.
As I look back at my own flaws and the choices I’ve made in life, I don’t need to blame others in order to explain what isn’t right about my life. I have enough responsibility enough of my own. The Bible says that I wasn’t born right – none of us were – and I didn’t continue right.
This is the only foundation for accepting salvation from Jesus Christ: to understand our own personal responsibility in life. Christ’s harshest words were always for those who thought they were doing fine, however he never turned away someone who saw their desperate need of him.
We’ve all had a piece of the forbidden fruit
It was the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden that started the original blame game. We’ve all had a piece of that fruit. It’s no good blaming your parents, your school, your church, your friends, or your husband or wife. It’s true; everyone has contributed to who we are, either positively or negatively. I know that some people have had horrendous things done to them.
However, our own personal healing and renewal starts from the point at which we stop looking at others, and we acknowledge who we ourselves are, in the reality of our own weakness, and then we acknowledge who Jesus is… and that we need him constantly and desperately in our lives.
– Eliezer Gonzalez