What was your New Year’s Resolution? If guilt is making you choke just a little as you recall your commitment, you are in good company. Maybe you, like me, have fallen off the “new year, new me” bandwagon.
For 2015, my family made a year-long resolution to focus on spiritual virtues. One each month.
In January, we focused on encouragement. In February, love. March was all about displaying joy and a good attitude. We have tracked our progress on oversized post-it pads hanging in our den by writing down the ways we’ve demonstrated these virtues. As a parent and wife, I had moments of sheer pride as I witnessed my family soaring.
Then, April came. dun, dun, duuuunnnn.
Our intention was to focus on kindness. Easy, right? Suuuurrreeee.
We simply didn’t do it. We didn’t take advantage of teachable moments. We weren’t proactive. And, there were several
moments days when all of us were plain mean.
So what do we do when we fall off the wagon? Get back on! So what if we messed up, missed out, or took a few backward steps? If we fall down, we get back up!
This month, our family is focusing on RESPONSIBILITY. (The irony wasn’t lost on me.)
Being responsible isn’t just a notion instilled in us by our parents to clean our rooms or arrive on time for work. It is a character virtue commanded by God for His children to be accountable for our lives and actions. It is a moral obligation to behave in ways that honor God.
The bible explains that each of us are personally responsible for our lives. Check it out:
The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.” Ezekiel 18:20
God even explains that we will be rewarded for our responsibility (or lack thereof):
“Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds. Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them! They will be paid back for what their hands have done.” Isaiah 3: 10-11
Did you notice that God wasn’t describing rewards and consequences in Heaven or Hell. He was talking about life right here on earth! Don’t miss this: responsibility reaps rewards; irresponsibility reaps consequences.
Now, that’s not new info, is it? It’s actually a relatively elementary thought. Yet, often the most elementary thoughts are the most profound.
Consider these things:
- We are personally responsible for our actions.
- We are personally responsible to work and provide for ourselves and families.
- We are personally responsible to obey God’s commands.
- We are personally responsible for our response to the Gospel.
- We are personally responsible for telling others about God’s great love.
- We are personally responsible for our character.
- We are personally responsible for our spiritual growth.
Yet, we often avoid responsibility by shifting blame to others. It’s someone else’s fault. We excuse laziness. We ignore God’s commands. We fear talking about our faith with others. We rationalize poor character. We blame the church for not being “deep” enough.
If responsibility reaps rewards, these excuses for irresponsibility are leading us down a path of demise! Let’s choose instead to be accountable for each moment of each day.
Why not join my family in taking personal responsibility for life this month? Choose an area and start walking a path that leads to rewards!