RESPONSIBILITY Andy Hollifield 8-14-18
1 Peter 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
There are only five definitions on Dictionary.com for the word “responsibility”. The first is the state of being responsible, answerable, or accountable for something within one’s power, control, or management. The second is just an instance of being responsible. Third is a particular burden of obligation upon one who is responsible. Fourth is a person or thing for which one is responsible. Fifth is reliability or dependability, especially in meeting debts or payments. There are several different ways anyone could go with this but I want to look at some of the key words in the definitions. In the first definition it says the state of being response-able. Then it says answer-able and finally account-able. Then in the fifth definition there are also a couple of words. They are rely ability and depend-ability. When you actually break the words down it sheds a lot of light on them don’t it. The word “responsibility” is also comprised of two words “response” and “ability”.
I don’t want this to come across as a grammar lesson because with my mastery of the English language, or lack thereof, I am probably the last person that needs to be trying to teach someone else how to talk. I do want to look at those two words “response” and “ability”. Response is simply the way we act or react or give answer to a certain situation. Ability has only three definitions. The first is the power or capacity to act in whatever way necessary. The second is competence in an activity or occupation because of one’s skill training or other qualification. The third is talents, special skills, or aptitudes. To sum it up in one sentence; responsibility is our ability to respond.
As I began to write this I tried to look up this words in the scriptures. To my surprise, “ability” is used seven times. The words “respond“, “response”, and “abilities” aren’t used at all in scripture. I said all of that to get down to the fact that, as Christians, we have a responsibility not only to each other but also to a lost and dying world that is headed for an eternal hell unless we live up to our responsibility and show them what a “real” Christian looks like.
Jesus placed that responsibility on us with the following verses; Bear ye one another’s burdens… (Galatians 6:2). Again in Luke 14:23 in the parable of the great supper when he said “Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” Also before he ascended he told his followers in Matthew 5:14 “Ye are the light of the world…” In Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven”.
Those scriptures illustrate clearly that we are not “an island unto ourselves” as the old saying goes. We are the only bible that a lost person may ever read. All that they know about Christ may be what they see in your life. He also said in Matthew 5:14 that as the light of the world, we should be “a city that is set on a hill cannot be hid”. The bible also tells us in 1 John 3:14 “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren…” There are a lot of people who say various things like “I can’t talk to people” or “Someone else could talk to them a lot better” or “I don’t know what to say”. None of those will be accepted at the judgment. If we were on a highway and knew that a bridge was out, it would be only natural for us to want to warn everyone of the danger. When we see people that are not ready to meet God, we should be warning them to avoid the danger of hell and eternity without God and show them how to turn and not go there.
The bottom line is this: we have the ability to respond and we are required by God to try to get them to him. People don’t care what you know but they do want to know how much you care. Just tell them what God has done for you in your life and how he saved you. That will go a long way toward convincing them that God can save anyone, including them. Don’t shirk your “responsibility”. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!