Personal Responsibility: A Thing Of The Past?
“For we all must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” (II Cor. 5:10)
In this context, Paul had been presenting his, and his co-workers, physical condition. Basically, he stated that their bodies were wearing out from the work and the abuse they were encountering. His point, however, is that we serve a renewing God. In chapter five he goes swiftly into a discussion of the resurrected body. “Now we know that if this earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.” (II Cor 5:1). In the following verses he elaborates even more on the concept of the resurrected body.
Since the point made is that God will renew the body that is wearing out and that God expects His people to remain active, Paul reminds them of the fact that God will hold every Christian accountable for his or her actions, whether good or bad.
In our day and time, people everywhere are moving away from personal responsibility. It is happening in our neighborhoods, in our cities, towns and communities. Somehow we have come to believe that if we do not assume any responsibility for anything, we cannot be found wrong. It seems that we think that running from responsibility absolves us of any guilt. Please note Paul’s statement again, “…that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” Paul, writing by the inspiration of the Spirit of God, insist that responsibility… personal responsibility must be met by every Christian.
It is easy to blame others for things that are wrong in our own lives. We often do that with sin. We try to lay our own sin to the charge or provocation of someone else. Listen to what James wrote about that. “But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” (James 1:14-15). Ezekiel said, “The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him.” (Ezekiel 18:20).
It is important that we understand that what affects the world around us also affects the church. We are not exempt. We are not shielded from its effects. We must understand that.
It has been said that in the church today 10% of the people do 90% of the work. As bad as I hate to admit it, I believe that this is true. We’ve sold ourselves on the idea that just getting to church a few times a week constitutes “work” for the Lord. Though it is important, hey, even essential, coming to church is not the culmination of the work of God. Even if it were, and it is not, we have some who are failing miserably at that. If our commitment is only assembly deep, it is too shallow to grow a church.
It is time that we take on personal responsibility… whether anyone else does or not. Remember, you only have to answer for your life, not anyone else’s.
Begin right now seeking the answer to this question: What can I personally do to help the Kingdom grow? Get personally involved. In the end… you’ll be glad you did.