You and Responsibility

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Recently I came across a statement containing the following thought:

“A person who shoulders his responsibilities has little room left for chips.”

There is so much truth in the sentence that it might be termed a proverb. It surely points us to one of the forgotten virtues of our times.

There are so many illustrations of refusal to shoulder responsibility that we hardly know where to begin citing them. Every person has responsibilities to someone or something. We are yet prone to be of the spirit of Cain who asked in selfishness and haughtiness, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” For lack of a sense of responsibility the employee will steal merchandise or time from the employer, or the employer may withhold an honest wage from his employee. Denying responsibility, a husband may be unfaithful to his wife or a father may waste the family’s support on liquor or other personal desires. Ignoring responsibility to one’s community will allow a young man to roar through a quiet neighborhood, trampling persons or property in his path.

Most of the problems that occur in the church on every level revolve around those who have failed to shoulder their responsibilities. One who will preach more or less than the Gospel falls short of his responsibility as a preacher. An eldership that does not know of or provide for the spiritual needs of the flock has not shouldered its responsibility. The Christian who does not worship regularly, shares little of his money for spiritual causes, and generally excuses himself or herself when there is service to render, is woefully irresponsible. Must not the listless attitude seen in so many toward sinful souls that surround them serve as the prime illustration of this trait?

And yet, the paradox is that those who shoulder the least responsibility are quite often the ones who carry the biggest chip. Seldom do we find those who are deeply committed to Christ and thus are actively serving in spiritual causes, to be the prophets of gloom and the super negative critics.

Jesus says to each Christian, “You are responsible to and for others.” Too many answer back, “Who, me? Surely, you don’t mean me!” Oh yes, but He does! What have your shoulders carried the bigger load of lately, Chips or Responsibilities?

[Note: I wrote this article for and it was published in the July 25, 1971, edition of The Christian Reminder, weekly bulletin of the Johnson Street Church of Christ, San Angelo, TX, of which I was editor.

Attribution: From; Dub McClish, owner and administrator.

Author: Dub McClish

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