Dr. Edwin Louis Cole states that “Maturity doesn’t come with age; it comes with acceptance of responsibility.”
Responsibility is about our ability to respond to circumstances and to choose the attitudes, actions and reactions that shape our lives.
An infant enters this world responsible for nothing and to no one. In fact, everyone else in that baby’s life is responsible for his or her needs. As the baby grows and becomes responsible, he or she begins to become accountable for his or her actions, attitudes, choices and behavior.
Think about this toddler misplacing a toy. It would be expected that the conversation with a parent would go something like this: “Where is your toy?” “I don’t know, it got lost.” Moving from a child to a responsible adult is the very basic principle that it didn’t just get lost but “I lost it.”
It sounds like an easy concept, but true responsibility requires living by a set of guidelines that encompasses everything we do.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
1. If you agree to do something, do you do it?
2. Are you consistent?
3. Do you place blame or make excuses?
4. Do you admit when you make mistakes?
5. Can people count on you?
Being a responsible person is not always easy. It sometimes requires us to do things we don’t like or even dread. It takes a self-imposed discipline regardless of the circumstance.
Responsibility is a main pillar of good character because it shapes our lives and defines who we truly are by giving us the choice. Accountable and self-reliant people not only depend on themselves, but show others they can be depended on. This breeds trust, and trust is key to all relationships.
Each and every day, we have the responsibility to choose how we live. God has given us the gift of life, every single breath, all our talents, the ability to talk and to create. God gave us eyes, ears, mouth, hands, feet, a heart. God gave us a mind, body, imagination, emotions and reasoning. The list is countless.
What if there was a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400? Your account carries over no balance from day to day, allows you to keep no cash balance, and every evening cancels whatever part of the amount you had failed to use during the day.
What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course!
Well, everyone has such a bank. Its name is TIME. Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as a loss, whatever you have failed to invest into a good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a new account for you and each night it burns the records of the day. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours. There is no going back. There is no drawing against the “tomorrow.”
You must live in the present on today’s deposits. We are accountable to invest it, so as to get the utmost in health, happiness and success. We have the responsibility to make the most of each day and are accountable for our actions, attitudes, choices and behavior today. The clock is running.
Responsibility can be summarized with Joshua 24:15 “I will choose good over evil and will accept responsibility for my decisions. Choose you this day whom you will serve; but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.”