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Our lines of responsibility
- Jacob Ninan
In the final analysis we can't blame our circumstances or other people for what we make of the one life God has given to us (Ro.14:12). God will surely take into account any handicaps we grew up with. He doesn't expect a man with one talent to produce the same output as one with ten. But He expects us to seek Him for all that we need, and to make the best of what we have been given. We have the option of hiding behind excuses, or trusting Him and seeking to bear much fruit as we cling to Him (Jn.15:5). What greater thing can we accomplish than fulfilling the tasks God entrusted us with (Ps.139:16)? Stories of people who rewrote their 'destiny' are there in plenty to encourage us.
If we are married we have the responsibility towards each other to love, to be faithful (Mal.2:15), to live in an understanding manner (1Pe.3:7), and to build up companionship (Mal.2:14) so as to become more and more one (Ge.2:24). Will this happen automatically, or do we need to work on it diligently?
If we are parents we have the major responsibility of bringing up 'godly children' (Mal.2:15). Surely we cannot take this for granted assuming that as they grow up in a Christian home it would happen automatically, or relegate it to the church or school teachers. God tells us to train our children in the way they should walk (Pr.22:6), and this involves spending time and energy with them with clear objectives.
If we are members of the Body of Christ, every one of us has been given one or more gifts of the Holy Spirit to be used for blessing the others (1Co.12:7). Don't we have to give an account to our Lord for what we have done with those gifts according to whether we have used them to make ourselves great or to bless the others in His name?
If we have spiritual leadership of any kind aren't we also responsible for the kind of examples we give by our life and conduct (1Pe.5:1-3), and also for the 'food' we need to pass on according to the need of the flock (Mt.24:45)? Those who lord it over the others or use their sheep for their selfish gain will not only lose rewards but also have to face wrath from God (Je.25:34).
We are also placed as salt and light of the earth (Mt.5:13-15). We are responsible for the faithfulness and Christ-likeness we exhibit in our workplace, our relationships, and our conduct in the world.
As we stand before the Lord today it may be that we find ourselves coming short in different areas of our responsibilities. But this is not a message of condemnation. There is grace with our Lord to receive us just as we are, as we acknowledge our failures and seek to learn to be faithful from now onwards (Is.30:15). Our old nature shirks any type of responsibility, and looks only for pleasing ourselves. But God has given us a new nature. When we are truly repentant we will have a willingness to make amends, change and learn new ways (2Co.7:10,11). We can't change our past, but we can learn from it in order to have a better future.