Accepting Responsibility

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Sunday, we talked about choosing what you will stand on… culture, yourself or God. Most everyone stood up and said they wanted to stand on something more stable. We learned that our beliefs determine our actions and our character. So it’s vital that we learn to build our lives on values that last.
Today we begin learning some values from the WOG to base our lives on if we want to live a significant and successful life. The first value we will look at is responsibility.
Churchill stated
Responsibility is the price of greatness
IOW, if you want to do something great with your life, you have to become a responsible person.
So we are beginning with the value of responsibility. It’s the foundation of all of this and if we don’t get this one, the rest don’t matter. We have to take responsibility for our choices. God gave us the ability to respond to life… to opportunities… problems… relationships… events. It makes us human.
In the last 40-50 years there has been a decline in accepting responsibility. No one wants to take responsibility anymore. They instantly look for someone to blame. It’s not new because Adam did it, but we have perfected it in the last years. It’s never our fault. Politicians blame the other party. When the Saints lose, we want to blame the refs… or something else instead of the fact that we stunk up the field.
What causes that today? What’s happened to our society?
Last week we learned that our beliefs determine our behavior and behavior determines what we become and what our society becomes. So let’s look at three beliefs that are prevalent today that are the opposite of personal responsibility.
The rights mentality… the victim mentality… and the entitlement mentality.

3 Enemies of Personal Responsibility

1. The rights Mentality

This goes like this. “I have my rights.” We are obsessed with rights: criminal rights, victim rights, computer rights, intellectual rights, animal rights, abortion rights, right to die, not to be tested, right not to be vaccinated. Mental patients used to have the right to mental health treatment but the ACLU sued and got them the right to not be treated so you see them living on the streets and under the bridges.
Our culture has reached the point where the obsession with rights is making it hard for us to think socially… as a society. In the USA, unlike other countries, we have a Bill of Rights. Along with the Bill of Rights, we also need a Bill of Rights we need a Bill of Responsibilities. US News & World Report. Let me tell you today. We have a Bill of Responsibility. 10 commandments.
We hear a lot of people talk about rights and we do not hear much about personal responsibility in our culture today… entitlement, but not obligations… myself but not how it impacts others. People use the argument my body my choice to justify abortions. Now the people that argued against abortion are using the same argument to justify not getting the vaccine.

2. The Victim Mentality

This goes like this. It’s not my fault… it’s always someone else's fault. It’s your spouses fault that you are not happy… it’s your parents fault that you … We want to blame everyone else but ourselves. You spell blame B-lame so every time you blame someone else, you are being lame.
Someone wrote a book, A Nation of Victims: The decay of American Culture.
An FBi agent embezzles $2000 from the government and then he looses it all in an afternoon of gambling in Atlantic City. He's fired but he wins reinstatement after a court rules that his affinity for gambling with other people's money is `a handicap' and thus, as a handicap, it is protected under Federal law.
Fired for consistently showing up late at work, a former school district employee sues his former employers arguing that he is the victim of what his lawyer calls Chronic Lateness Syndrome.
In Framingham, Massachusetts a young man steals a car from a parking lot and is killed while driving it. His family then sues the proprietor of the parking lot for failing to take steps to prevent such thefts. ("It's your fault that I stole the car.")
A man who, by his own admission, has exposed himself between 10,000 and 20,000 times and then, convicted of flashing on more than 30 occasions, is turned down for a job as a park attendant in Dane County, Wisconsin, because of his arrest record. But he sues on the grounds that he never exposed himself in a park, only in libraries and laundromats. The Wisconsin employment officials, ever accommodating to the expansion of human rights, agree to make an initial determination of probable cause that the flasher was the victim of "illegal job discrimination"
We have become a nation of victims.

3. The Entitlement Mentality

This one says, “I deserve it.” The world owes me a living. Dr Benjamin Spock - leave the little tyrant alone. So we have a whole generation of people that grew up with no responsibility thinking that society owed them something. Add to that continued government intervention in our lives where they say, we know what’s best for you and we will take care of you from cradle to grave. This has all built this mentality where people now say, I have a right not to work and you have to pay me. Workers in FL sued when the state cut off the enhanced unemployment.
We now have people who blame everyone and everything else for our problems. This is in contrast to what Paul says.
Ephesians 5:15 Phillips
15 Live life, then, with a due sense of responsibility, not as men who do not know the meaning and purpose of life but as those who do. Make the best use of your time, despite all the difficulties of these days. Don't be vague but firmly grasp what you know to be the will of the Lord. Don't get your stimulus from wine (for there is always the danger of excessive drinking), but let the Spirit stimulate your souls. Express your joy in singing among yourselves psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making music in your hearts for the ears of the Lord! Thank God at all times for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. And “fit in with” each other, because of your common reverence for Christ.
God says we are to live life with a sense of responsibility because we know the meaning of life. You know why God put you here. God placed each one of us here for a purpose. One of the things we have to deal with is why should we live responsibly?

I. Why should we live responsibly?

1. Because God is watching

Joke - A man breaks into the house… parrot keeps saying Jesus is watching… he tells the parrot to shut up… then sees a pitbull… Jesus is watching.
God sees everything.
Hebrews 4:13 NCV
13 Nothing in all the world can be hidden from God. Everything is clear and lies open before him, and to him we must explain the way we have lived.
He not only sees everything, but one day we will be accountable for everything. He will evaluate how we lived our lives with what he gave us. This Life is a test of responsibility. That’s why we are going through some of the things we are going through.
It doesn’t matter how long you live, 80 - 90 years, it’s a moment in eternity. When we die, we will live somewhere for eternity, either in hell or heaven. What you do with your life and the decisions you make will influence your eternity.
God put us here to Know God personally and to develop character… to be more like Jesus. God is interested in your character because it’s the only thing that you will take into eternity. God is evaluating are you responsible? He also says that we will be rewarded in heaven for the things we do in this life in regards to what we do for Jesus and how we use the gifts and abilities and wealth that he gave us.
Romans 14:12 NLT
12 Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God.
That means we each have to give an account… your mama can’t … no one can but you.
God has seen everything you have ever done and he knows every thought you have ever thought. When you try to blame someone else or just hide what you did… thinking no one will ever know, God knows. And he is the only one that REALLY matters. You can fool me, maybe pastor Kathy, your kids, your boss, but you can’t fool God. He knows.

2. Because others are affected by my life

1 Corinthians 10:24 NLT
24 Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.
We don’t live life in a bubble. We are not independent, but inter-dependent. That’s not the prevailing mindset today. we say things like, “I am not my brother’s keeper” … Frank Sinatra - I did it my way… It’s an I live my life my way and what’s it to you?
The problem with this mentality is it’s wrong. If you think this way, you are wrong. Every decision you make affects not only you, but others. You may not see the results of your choices, but they affect people… and often they hurt people. We all live on the same planet and our lives impact others.
addiction - if someone in your family is addicted to something, it affects that whole family. It places the parents under stress and impact how they treat the other children… It even impacts the work and hobbies of people in the family.
sickness - it doesn’t just impact you, but those who have to take care you or those who caught what you had or those who depended on you…
suicide - devastates families and friends
That’s why it’s irresponsible to say I will live my life anyway I want to.
An employee may think it’s the companies money, they won’t miss it… or a kid will say, my parents will never know… it won’t hurt them…
You need to be responsible because God is watching and because others are affected by your life.
I need to be responsible …

3. Because God rewards responsibility

Deuteronomy 28:2 NLT
2 You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God:
God blesses obedience and he does more than we could ever imagine. He says he will pur out blessings in every area of your life if you will live responsibly with your time, your relationships and your money.
One of the ways God bless us is that when we are responsible, he gives us more.
Matthew 25:29 NLT
29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.
Whatever you use well, god will give you more… influence… money… possessions… Think about it. Why should God give you more money when you are not being responsible with what you have? He doesn’t have an obligation to help you out of a mess that you put yourself into by being irresponsible. But when you do live responsibly, he will bless your socks off.
The whole Bible will help you to live responsibly because it’s full of principles to live by. But we will not go into all 66 books tonight.

II. How can I be a more responsible person?

1. By saving money

God says that if you are spending everything you make, you are being foolish.
Proverbs 21:20 The Living Bible
20 The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.
Americans save less than any modern nation i the world. other nations save up to 25%. But in America, we want it now so we charge like crazy. It’s to the point that I saw Walmart ended lay-a-way. Now with Amazon, American’s spend hours shopping because they can do it even after the stores close. Someone once said, When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping.
Why is this important? The number 1 cause of divorce is not adultery. It’s over money… debt to be specific. The majority of divorces in America are due to financial irresponsibility.
What are you teaching your kids? Are you teaching them to tithe? to save?
Someone asked John D Rockerfeller, one of the wealthiest men in America back in the day, what do you attribute your wealth to. He said this, I tithe 10%, save 10% and live on 80% That’s a good starting point.
If you have been being irresponsible with your finances, you might consider beginning that plan. give God back what he asks for, tithe 10%… then start saving 10% every check. Live on the rest. You will be amazed what God will do in your life.
Ecclesiastes 7:4 The Living Bible
4 Yes, a wise man thinks much of death, while the fool thinks only of having a good time now.
Like it or not, God uses money to test you and your responsibility. When you get to heaven, he will ask, what did you do with what I gave you?
give yourself a grade based on what I have just said… A+ is living on 80-10-10
We become responsible ...

2. By controlling my reactions

We can’t control events, but we can control how we react to those events. You control your response. It might be difficult, but you control it. God is saying to us today, that if we want to be responsible and mature, we have to learn to control our responses to the pressures of life… the stresses… the problems… the people who cut us off… the people who don’t agree with us without blowing up.
One of the keys is to responsibility is to control our emotional reactions.
Proverbs 29:11 GW
11 A fool expresses all his emotions, but a wise person controls them.
Anyone besides me resemble that verse? too often we put that stuff on Social Media. Don’t. Check this out.
Matthew 12:36 NCV
36 And I tell you that on the Judgment Day people will be responsible for every careless thing they have said.
We will be accountable for everything we have ever said… the good… the bad and the ugly. Think about that the next time you are about to open your mouth or type something on Social Media. Think before you speak. Just because it pops into your mind doesn’t mean it has to come out of your mouth.
Romans 12:21 NLT
21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
One of the ways we show people we are responsible people is that we don’t try to get even. That one gets me… sometimes I just want to .... but when we try to get even, we are no better than the person who hurt us and it won’t make us feel good anyway.
You conquer evil with good. MLK -
Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
When you can return good for evil, you show that you have given it to the Lord.
What grade would you give yourself on this one?
We become responsible

3. By guarding my thoughts

Proverbs 23:7 NKJV
7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, But his heart is not with you.
Everything good or bad begins with our thoughts. Our thoughts influence our feelings and our feelings influence our actions… it all starts with our thoughts.
Let me relieve you of some false guilt. You are no responsible for every thought that pops up. Someone ought to say amen. Those thoughts can come from all sorts of places… conversations… things you see by accident… the devil… When the devil does it, its a temptation. When God puts a thought into your mind, it’s an inspiration.
You are not responsible for what pops in your thoughts, but you are responsible for what you choose to take up residence. You will be help accountable for lingering thoughts.
You can’t keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.
You allow things into your mind through the eye gate and the ear gates. It always amazes me what people listen to or let their kids listen to.
Proverbs 15:14 NLT
14 A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash.
Don’t feed on trash. Don’t listen to trash music. Don’t watch trash stuff on TV… that’s getting harder and harder.
You may think you can listen to and watch trash and it will not affect you… it will. You may fool me or you may even fool yourself but you will never fool God and you will be accountable to him. If what you see, NFL players would be making minimum wage. Advertisers are where the money comes from and they would not advertise if a beer commercial didn’t make people go buy beer. So don’t think trash will not impact you.
Garbage in … garbage out. Whatever you put into your mind will eventually come out in behavior. Stuff that’s offensive will not be offensive anymore. One of the ways Satan tries to get deviant behavior accepted is by getting you to laugh at it. That’s why we don’t watch very many shows now. They are always trying to slip something in… You may think that you are being open minded, but you really need to close your mind for Fall or Winter cleaning.
Some of you have not felt a desire to read the bible. That’s because you have filled your mind with trash. People can fill their minds up with Poisen - porn… or filling - stuff that not good or bad… or the truth of God. Remember
Proverbs 15:14 NLT
14 A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash.
Now rate your self on this one…
We can be responsible

4. By admitting my mistakes

Proverbs 28:13 The Living Bible
13 A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance.
God will give you another chance when you go to him and admit your mistake. If you confess your sins, he will forgive them.
The Bible also says,
Hosea 4:4 NLT
4 “Don’t point your finger at someone else and try to pass the blame! My complaint, you priests, is with you.
Stop blaming others for your on faults and mistakes. Take responsibility. Typically we like to excuse and accuse.
this message is for me as much as it is for you. The Bible says,
Romans 3:23–24 NLT
23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.
We have all blown it at some point. So we all have to take responsibility for our lives. God doesn’t want you walking around feeling guilty. He wants you and me to come to Him and confess our sins and let him for give us. That’s what happens when we take responsibility for our own lives.
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