Thursday, January 1, 2015

Personal Responsibility - Martin Wiles

The person who sins is the one who will die. The child will not be punished for the parent’s sins, and the parent will not be punished for the child’s sins. Ezekiel 18:20 NLT

“But God, I didn’t know…So and so…Can’t you overlook…”

The first day of school finally arrived. Returning students were introduced to something new I had added to my yearly plans. I would issue a syllabus. I had spent hours during the summer designing one for each class, detailing the objectives and plans, and giving them instructions for the major projects they would be required to complete—along with the due dates. Students listened as I carefully explained that no excuses would be accepted for not having projects completed on time. On the first day of school, they had been told the date. Some perceived my position as harsh, but my intention was that they learn early in life to take responsibility for their tasks and actions. Procrastination would prevent this. 

God operates on the same level. My mind could easily conceive of things I might say to God were he to ask me why he should let me into his heaven. Or should he name off reasons why he shouldn’t, I could just as easily offer numerous excuses for my actions. But my sins—regardless of the circumstances that may have made them effortless to fall into, are my responsibility. While a child’s parents and home atmosphere have a great bearing on their later actions and attitudes, it doesn’t excuse responsibility. God understands my circumstances, but he won’t excuse the sinful behavior that might arise from them. 

Nor will God let me slip into heaven on the coattails of another person. The Jews of Jesus’ day assumed they were acceptable to God based on their genealogical line to Abraham. But they weren’t, and neither can I be based on my family’s godly heritage. I must personally decide to follow Jesus, and I also must take personal responsibility for my infractions against God’s law. I can’t blame others or my circumstances. No excuses. Period. 

Have you taken personal responsibility for your sins?

Prayer: Merciful Father, we cry unto You for forgiveness of our sins.


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