When I have passed blame in the past, it was always to keep myself out of trouble. Sometimes that meant someone else getting in trouble for things I had done. Growing up, that was usually my brother Dan. He took a lot of my punishments. Sorry, Dan! It wasn’t right. It was childish behavior to pass blame. Unfortunately, there will always be a temptation to do so. A lot of Christian adults pass blame as surely as they breathe. But we shouldn’t do that. First, because passing blame really is just lying by another name. But also, the Bible teaches us to take responsibility for ourselves. It’s what Godly men and women do.
There are different ways of taking responsibility. A Godly person will take responsibility for his own decisions, for the words he says, and for the things with which God has entrusted him.
A Godly individual does take responsibility for his decisions and actions, even when they are mistakes. Taking responsibility means admitting fault and accepting any consequences that may come because of your decision. Don’t look for someone else to take the blame for you. Don’t say things like, “he started it!” Take ownership for your actions. We must admit our faults and confess our sins to God first and foremost, according to 1 John 1:9. We cannot confess our sin if we do not acknowledge it. We must also admit our faults to other Godly men and women, who will in turn hold us accountable and pray with and for us, according to James 5:16.
A Godly person also take responsibility for the words they say. Matthew 12:36 says that we will give an account to God for every word we’ve spoken. Keep that in mind, because it may keep you from saying things you might want to say but will regret. Now, a lot of people will tell you that you are only responsible for what you say, not for how people respond to what you say. In some cases, that is true, but often times, it is just an excuse for being rude under the guise of “telling the truth.” Ephesians 4:15 says that we must tell the truth in love.
Finally, a Godly person will take responsibility for his work. The level of work you do should not be based on what others are doing around you. If others are not working hard, that is between them and their boss boss and between them and God. You are supposed to work hard at everything you do, because working hard at your work honors God. Galatians 6:4-5 says that we must make sure the work we are doing is satisfactory to God, without any concern for what someone else is doing. Don’t slack off or goof off, because it feels like everyone else is. Take responsibility for your work, and do what is expected of you, and so shine the light of Jesus into your workplace. Colossians 3:22 says that we need to work hard, as though we are working for God. We want to please God with what we do, not do just enough to make our human bosses happy with us.
Taking responsibility doesn’t mean you can never have fun. You can have a lot of fun in life, even if you take responsibility seriously. It just means you know when it’s time to have fun and when it’s time to work hard. It means working hard, to the best of the abilities God has given you, so you can honor Him for the gifts and talents He has given you. It also doesn’t mean every problem is always your fault, but when something is your fault, you accept it instead of trying to get out of it at someone else’s expense. Always look at yourself first and ask what you did to contribute to the problem before thinking about how it is someone else’s fault.
Do you know anyone to whom you can confess when you make mistakes that will pray for you and help you make right choices?
What are some areas where you are good at taking responsibility? In what areas do you need a little work?
How can you balance telling the truth and doing so lovingly? Do you think there are some things you should not say, even if you believe them to be true, because it’s impossible to say them lovingly?