“But he…but she…well, if you hadn’t….!” “But I was tired… but I was busy…but I was so SO hungry!” Usually it feels easier to blame our circumstances or to blame other people than to accept responsibility for our own actions. With God’s help, as we continue to abide with Him, we can make responsible choices with what we do. However, none of us are perfect so even when we don’t make the right choice, we can still take responsibility for our actions. One of the ways we can be do this is to ask for forgiveness when something that we think, say, or do does not honor God.
MEMORY VERSE: “Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won't need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.” Galatians 6:4-5 (NLT)
Matthew 25 tells a story about 3 servants who were all given bags of silver by their master before he went away on a trip. The first two servants had the right view of their master and they wanted to follow through with what He had called them to do. The 3rd servant was irresponsible with the silver he was given and even blamed the master for his actions. When the master returned, he was pleased with his servants who had honored Him by being responsible with their actions so decided to give them more responsibility. When the master received report from the final servant, he was angry. He even commanded that his one bag of silver be taken and given to the servant with the 10 bags of silver because of the final servant’s irresponsibility.
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
At the dinner table this week, ask your family why a police officer would give someone a ticket. Likely answers are: speeding, running a red light, or not stopping at a stop sign. Then, ask them why their teachers would give a student a detention. Likely answers are: talking in class, being late, or being disrespectful. After they have answered, point out to your family that all of those things are actions, they are things people chose to do. Explain to them that being responsible with our actions is highly important, because our actions have consequences, both good and bad!
As you are driving with your family ask them that if you simply THOUGHT about driving the car, would it be enough to drive the car? The answer is an obvious no, because you would actually need to take action by physically getting in the car and driving it! Then ask them if you could drive the car WITHOUT thinking about it? The answer is still no, because even though you are physically capable it requires thought to drive a car responsibly. Explain to them how being responsible with our actions starts in our mind and our heart and how that translates into the things we actually do (taking responsibility for our actions versus blaming someone else, for example).
Our actions say a lot about who we are and what we believe. As you are putting your family to bed, discuss how actions are the best way to tell what is in our hearts. It is easy to say we believe in something, but it is a whole other thing to take action on our beliefs. Being responsible with our actions directly shows whether we truly believe what we say we do. Ask your family and yourself how well your actions are reflecting your beliefs. Then pray together, asking God to help you follow through with what He’s called you to do.
As you are getting your kids ready for the day, read Colossians 3:17 together:
"Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father." COLOSSIANS 3:17
Then pray for your hearts to be fully surrendered to God and that everything you do will be for God and His glory!
Next week we will continue learning about Responsibility!