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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Personal Responsibility"

August 13, 2005

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The man said, “The woman You put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Genesis 3:12

A prominent political leader once said, “We must live with the consequences of our judgments.” Put into another form, the statement says that people must assume personal responsibility for what we do or leave undone.

In our time it is quite common to shove the axioms of life aside and to seek refuge in excuses. You have heard the attempted dodges of personal accountability: “I can’t help it. I am what I am—it is because of genes inherited form my parents.” Again: “My so-called vice is a sickness.” Further: “I only did what the majority of people would do.” Or: “I beat up on my children severely because that is what my parents did to me.” Sometimes the blame is not only placed on other people but also on unfavorable environments.

Alibis may work in society, sometimes even in courts of law. But all forms of pretense and all attempts of self-delusion don’t “wash” with God, who is just, all-knowing, and always beyond deception. The psalmist prays, “Judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, according to my integrity, O Most High. O righteous God, who searches minds and hearts, bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure” (Psalm 7:8-9).

The futility of trying to avoid responsibility is vividly portrayed in the aftermath of the fall in Eden. Adam said it was “the woman You put here with me” (Genesis 3:12). (It was really your fault, God!) Eve said “The serpent deceived me” (Genesis 3:13).

There is only one thing to do when we are confronted with our wrongdoings—acknowledge personal responsibility. Here is everything in a nutshell: “If we claim to be without sin ... He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9). God forgives, because “the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

PRAYER: Lord God, Heavenly Father, for Jesus’ sake, forgive me for all my faults. Amen.

(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)

Today's Bible Readings: 1 Chronicles 7-9    1 Corinthians 7:20-40

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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