Personal Responsibility. Do we understand what that means or looks like in today's culture? I have been thinking on this one a LOT since returning from Japan. Once again, I was amazed at this aspect of their culture. Everyone is so aware of their responsibility as an individual in society. One example of this is how clean their country is. Not once did I see a piece of trash on the street. Even in the schools, I saw this concept in action. The children serve lunch everyday in their classrooms. They are responsible for making their plate of food, making their teachers plate and then cleaning up afterwards. They even do the mopping and cleaning in their classrooms...CAN I SEND MY CHILDREN THERE PLEASE??!!

These are all little examples of how responsible they are as individuals..but it got me thinking.

What would it look like if I started taking responsibility for every deed I do and every word I say? I dare say I would be much more aware of my inability to "get it right"...but is that so bad? See, I was thinking that what tends to happen often in our lives is that we concentrate hard on how to get out of our responsibility instead of facing it head on. This idea trickles down even into our need for forgiveness. Instead of claiming my mistakes, I am tempted to find someone else to blame and so I forget to bring my failure to Christ and let him forgive it.

"It's not my fault...he shouldn't have said that"

"I wouldn't be this way if my parents hadn't been that way"

"I didn't mean to get addicted. It just happened"

Sometimes it's not the failures we want to "shuck" but the calling from God to do something big, something brave that we want to flee from.

"I just can't say that God. I'm not a people person"

"I just can't go there. I'm not strong enough". 

"I just can't...find someone else please". 

I dare say I have been there countless times. I have wanted to hide from my sin, not take responsibility for my actions and I have wanted to excuse myself from what I KNEW God was calling me to do...because I was afraid. I think fear is the reason I so often want to flee my responsibility.  I am afraid to let him see my sin and be honest about it. I'm afraid he might, this one time, decide it's too much and turn his back. I think fear is the reason I so often want to excuse myself from God's call. I'm afraid he might, this one time, decide not to go before me and pave the way. 

What if Jesus had wavered from his responsibility? How different the world would be!  How different is the world because I...we...want to run instead of "own it" at times? Jesus is never going to turn his back on me...but I have to choose not to turn my back on him. Being with the wonderful people of Japan for two weeks was a fresh reminder to take responsibility for myself but also the world around me. It's time to stop hiding behind insecurity and fear and step into the light. It's time to stand up and own all that I am so that people will see all that Jesus me.  

 "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross and follow me."  
Matthew 16:24


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