- Photo by Jeff Myers
Every responsible person knows the temptation.
The unspoken desire to do what we shouldn’t simmers and surges in all of us.
Who wants to be responsible when the right thing is not the easy thing?
The impulse to mismanage life, and ignore the consequences of fallacious irresponsibility, is most urgent when we have to curb our will to do what's right. We hate limits. Our disdain for confinement, our disgust with delay and the odium we feel when we encounter resistance makes us dangerous – to ourselves and others.
So I gathered the Journey Bible Class students last night and asked them to dig in, study hard and get clarity on God's purposes for His people. I reminded them the scriptures show us how to do what is right.
The scriptures teach us responsibility, and as we work God's words into the fabric of our lives, the Lord empowers us to live it.
The problem is that we want what we want, as we want it. And we live in a society where we can do whatever we want, so who will do whatever is right?
Is there a way to live responsibly?
Mom used to say, "Where there's a will, there's a way." Apparently she didn't want me giving up when the going got tough, so she said, "Where there's a will, there's a way," instead of saying, "Don't quit just because it's difficult, you little sissy." You can see Mom was a tender-hearted woman who wanted her son to bend his will to desire what's right more than what's easy.
Mom also said, "Do this, or I'll tan your hide." Her promise to deepen the tone of my tender epidermis was offered as a motivational strategy long before professional counselors institutionalized the practice of aversion therapy. I took her promise to mean I should act responsibly and do my duty. She helped me on both ends of her stimulus plan: incentivizing my "will," ("do this") and encouraging me to find a "way," ("...or I'll tan your hide"). She was a motivational speaker before Zig Zigler ever picked up a microphone.
Every responsible person knows the temptation to do what's easy, instead of doing what's right.
Choosing what’s right when we feel the tug of selfish desire, is our responsibility – yours and mine.
Luke 6:48-49 - If you work the words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who dug deep and laid the foundation of his house on bedrock. When the river burst its banks and crashed against the house, nothing could shake it; it was built to last. But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don't work them into your life, you are like a dumb carpenter who built a house but skipped the foundation. When the swollen river came crashing in, it collapsed like a house of cards. It was a total loss.