Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Mid-Week Message - Personal Responsibility

"For we must all stand before Christ to be judged.  We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body."  2 Corinthians 5:10  (NLT)  

All of us, if we had siblings, can remember times when we blamed something we did on a brother or sister.  It was just part of growing up.  Unfortunately, children learn how to lie very early in life and, thus, learn how to avoid taking personal responsibility and the consequences for whatever wrong we have done.  As we grow we become quite adept at finding reasons or excuses to keep from admitting that something that we are going through may be because of our own choices.

I didn't want to write this message.  I prefer to avoid difficult subjects.  However, upon hearing of the death of a dear friend I am reminded, again, that our time here is short and we need to use the precious time we have in the best way possible.  Because we have a Savior, we have the privilege of taking everything in our lives before Him.  We can ask for His forgiveness, we can ask for His guidance and we can be assured that His blood covers our sins and He will help us through whatever we need to do to set things right.

I have talked openly many times about my physical maladies.  My excessive weight has caused mobility problems and I am in pain most of the time.  I have sought counseling a few times over the years to try to find the reasons behind my reliance upon food and, in so doing, have heard many suggestions that my obesity is actually the fault of my parents for not helping to develop or enforce healthy eating habits.  Or, it is because of mistreatment from other people or situations.  Whatever caused it, they implied, was apart from my own conscious will.  

I have heard the same reasoning behind many issues that we struggle with.  Be it alcohol, drugs, sex, not keeping a job, etc., for some reason we are not personally responsible.  The truth is that we are each personally responsible for the choices we make in life.  My parents do not follow me around feeding me the foods that I know are going to cause me to gain weight.  I am sixty-two years old.  I am the one that has chosen to eat unhealthily.  I am the one that is answerable for the condition my body is now in.  

I understand addiction and what a mental trap it is.  I understand it all too well.  I do not mean to lessen its impact or the life and death struggle to escape it.  I simply mean to point to the One that has all the answers.  Psalm 139 tells us how He created us in our mothers' wombs and how He knitted us together.  He is the One that knows each and every cell in our bodies and each and every thought that runs through our minds.  He has been with us through every step we have ever taken.  He knows our hearts and our emotions.  And you know what?  He loves us still.  

One day we will stand before Him.  When that day comes I long to see the loving look on His face and hear the accepting tone in His voice when He reminds me that He died so that I could be forgiven.  Until that day, I will bow at the foot of the cross, pour out all my thoughts, feelings and actions, ask Him to forgive me and help me make it through however many days I have left upon this earth.  Without Him by my side, I am nothing. 

My friends, the only legacy I want to leave behind is that I did my best to share the love of Jesus Christ and to tell His story.  If only one person chooses to give their life over to Him and to follow Him, then my life will have served its purpose.  My only desire is to share His love with you.  May your week be blessed by His mercy and grace. 

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