Taking Responsibility for Our Actions

In Genesis 3, Satan tempted Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. She ate and gave some to Adam to eat. Realizing the sin they had committed, they hid from God. When God challenged them, Eve blamed Satan and Adam blamed Eve. We have been blaming others for our sins ever since. As Solomon said, “there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclestiastes 1:9, NKJV).
In Luke 14:16-24, Jesus was relating a parable where he establishes the futility of excuses before the face of God. People were invited to a great supper and each person who had been invited had an excuse why they were unable to attend. The host of the feast was so infuriated that he revoked their invitations and said that “none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper” (14:24).
At the heart of many excuses lies a clever sleight of hand. For example, far too many have refused to become Christians because they could identify a Christian who was more sinful than they were.
Excuses are useless in the ear of an all-knowing God. He can never be fooled or distracted. As Galatians 6:7 says, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked.” The writer of Hebrews says, “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).
There will be a judgment where “each of us shall give an account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12) because “we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ” (Romans 14:10). John later wrote, “And the dead were judged according to their works” (Revelation 20:12).
Taking responsibility for our own sins is one thing we most abhor and yet God requires. We must all stand up and be ready to face the consequences of our sins. No one else will stand at the judgment for us. No one else will be blamed for our actions or thoughts.
When we sin there are contributing factors such as the influence of others, circumstances, opportunities and such like. None of those ultimately has any bearing on our responsibilities before God.
Immodest clothes fill clothing stores, but that does not remove the responsibility to dress modestly (1 Timothy 2:9). Profanity is now considered normal, but that does not alter my responsibility to have pure speech (Proverbs 17:20).
As a Christian, if I attend a congregation with a terrible song leader, that does not negate my command to sing (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16). If the only place to worship is a congregation where no one speaks to me, that does not remove my responsibility to attend worship in the Lord’s church (Hebrews 10:25). If the building always has extreme temperatures, that does not change my requirement to worship. A Christian that is rude, does not remove my responsibility to be kind (Ephesians 4:32).
In our modern times, we spend billions of dollars trying to remove the consequences of sins. Moreover, we are seeking to label sins as diseases and the result of genetics which contribute to our refusal to hold ourselves accountable for our actions.
Admittedly, this will be against our nature and will require great effort. God knew that. That is why he told us that we should follow him and not the world (Ephesians 4:1; 5:1). Moreover, our companions will be even more important because they can lead us away from God very rapidly (1 Corinthians 15:33).
Let us begin taking responsibility for our actions before it is too late.

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Richard lives in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre. They have three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

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