If you’re a parent like me, there’s a word that gets repeated in your home daily. Most children don’t like it very much, but it’s something they need to learn – not just for their own sake, but for the sake of the rest of society. It’s a word that – even though we can’t always agree on its meaning – we all agree on its importance.
What’s the word? RESPONSIBILITY
(cue the high pitched shriek in the background)
responsible: ‘answerable or accountable, as for something within one's power, control, or management’
A child who makes a mistake and owns up to it is not a problem. No matter what the problem is, it can usually be fixed easily once it’s been identified and owned up to. That is what responsibility means.
The problem is when the child makes a mistake and then denies it, or makes excuses or blames others. That child is much less likely to change his behavior, regardless of the consequences. Why? Because he’s never fully taken responsibility for his choices. He sees them as someone else’s fault or the fault of circumstances.
How often do we behave towards God in the very same manner in which we try to teach our kids NOT to behave?