Monday, February 6, 2006

No Excuse (On Taking Responsibility)

When things start to go wrong, people seem to have only one natural reaction: find someone to blame.[1]
We do this all the time. We make excuses, we place the blame on others, and we are loath to admit we’re wrong; we don’t take responsibility for our own free actions.

If Johnny drops a vase while he’s searching for his baseball mitt, what happens when his mother confronts him?
“Well Mary’s the one who told me to look for it!”
Does this change the fact that Johnny broke a vase?

It’s shameful that we must be so cowardly in confessing our mistakes. If we make a mistake, we need to:
1. Admit it
2. Vow to make a change
3. Start working towards our goal.
It’s nobody else’s fault if you cannot accept the consequences of your own actions.

Take for an [extreme] example the drunk who is living in sin. Either he can turn around and point his finger at the parents who should have told him better, the wife who never cared about him, his miserable financial state...or he can be honest and admit that he reacted wrongly to the circumstances that he says ‘drove’ him to make his bitter decisions. In other words, he can be honest and say that the fault is all his own.

When I was young and thoughtless, I could have benefited from this article. I remember sitting at the kitchen bar once, listening to my mom give a lecture to my younger sister. In my insensitive and unsympathetic heart, I guess I must have thought something about it was funny.
I started to laugh.
When my mom reprimanded me, I pointed to the empty grape stalk lying on my plate.
“I wasn’t laughing about Beth! I was laughing at that grape thing because it looks like a spider,” I said, and proceeded to show her the ways in which it resembled a spider.

The excuses we offer up these days aren’t always as rotten, lousy and so obviously untrue as what I said as a kid, but they are still rotten, lousy excuses whether we call them that or not.

Now that I’m older and still just about as thoughtless as before (just better at hiding it), this article is still something I need to read. Is it really because of my busy school schedule that I sometimes forget to read my Bible? Believe me, I could make room for it if I really tried.
“But Mom gives me too many school assignments!”
Nice attempt, but I really doubt that’s the case. It’s been proven that we make room for the things we really want to do. We do – you must admit it! For example, I have no problem memorizing facts about my favorite singing groups, tracing their successes, tours, and album releases. In fact, it’s a lot of fun.
So why can’t I take the same time I’d spend doing that and instead use it to memorize Bible passages, trace Jesus’ ministry, miracles, and all the wonderful promises contained in the Old and New Testament?

In the end, we’re going to be held accountable for every thought, word, and deed we’ve ever had, said, and did, and there’s going to be nobody standing behind us to direct our fingers towards.

Don’t you think we need to grow up a little, and admit where we’re wrong instead of always shifting the blame?

“You’re running out of excuses
And you’re gonna have to face the day
No more lies, and no manipulation
No more avoiding all responsibility
Well you know it’s time that we change the situation
‘Cause we all want to sleep tonight”*

*Paul Colman Trio
[1] Based on quote by Nicolae Carpathia.


Kasey said...

loooove that song!