READ: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-24
- 17 imperative verbs; 17 commands. Between v12 and v22 there are 123 words, nearly one-fourth of which are verbs. Each one is a plural “you.” Paul, Silas and Timothy challenge the congregation in Thessalonica to take responsibility for their actions. There can be no blaming others for our own responsibilities. It’s not even possible to say, “The devil made me do it.” He doesn’t have that kind of power.
- One of life’s hardest lessons is learning to accept responsibility. We make choices and we must eventually come to accept that those choices have consequences. We can’t keep blaming our parents, our jobs, our circumstances, our society, our abuser, our anything. It doesn’t mean those things didn’t contribute to our choices. They may have acted against our will. But we choose how to respond.
- Satan tempts. He allures. He’s sly and inventive. He’s good at what he does. But he’s still not making the choice. We are. One sign of maturity is making choices…wise ones. But an even more significant sign is taking responsibility for the consequences of those decisions…especially when they go wrong. When we can do that, then we are making progress toward faithfulness. Instead of casting blame, we seek to determine what to do differently next time.
- When was the last time you accepted responsibility for a bad choice?
- What do you tend to blame on others?
- Why is it so hard to accept personal responsibility?
PRAY: Confess the areas of your ongoing struggle with responsibility. Pray for the maturity to own and learn from your mistakes. Commit to maturing in this area.