Personal Responsibility

If someone mistreats you, whose fault is that? Yours? Theirs? Or, someone else’s?

If someone asks you to do something wrong and you do it, whose fault is it? Is it yours? Is it theirs? Or, is it someone else’s?

These are not a hard questions, but it would surprise you how many folks cannot answer them correctly!

Recently, people who had been held hostage were freed. I am happy for them and their families. However, they blame the United States for some of the treatment they received as hostages. Say what? Iran is fully to blame for the treatment they received. But then again, why were they hiking so close to the border of a foreign country? Not to justify Iran’s actions, but if they had been hiking somewhere in the United States instead of over there … just saying.

I watched a true story on television. Person A was asked by person B to do something that lead to a crime. Person A complied, but then blamed person B. They are both in prison for that one.

The same kind of thing is happening all around us. People do things that they should not be doing, but then they blame someone else instead of accepting responsibility themselves. The curious thing is when they make excuses for the person – or country in the previous example – that’s doing the mistreating.

When a person does something wrong, the fault lies with them. It’s not their mom’s, dad’s, brother’s, sister’s, in-law’s, best friend’s, or the environment that they grew up in, etc… Yes, we can argue that people are influenced by their environment, upbringing, peers, etc… Guess what? The choice is still theirs.

Consider Adam and Eve. Eve has a conversation with the serpent – or rather, the devil. Then, she eats of the tree. She gives to Adam, and he eats.

And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
Genesis 3:9-13

Although the serpent was cursed, Adam and Eve were punished as well. We read how Eve was deceived, but Adam chose to sin.

When we stand before God, we are not going to be able to pass responsibility for our behavior on to someone else. It doesn’t do anyone any favors to let them pass it on now. Hold the ones you love accountable.


Today’s challenge is to be accountable and to hold others accountable. Too often folks want to say that what was done was not their fault. Too often folks not even in the picture are blamed for decisions that they had no part in making. It’s time to get real with others. In eternity, God will hold them accountable for their actions. Temporally, the future of our country depends on it.

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