“Be responsible.” is a slap-on-the-wrist-statement for most men.
It’s normally used as a rebuke for not getting the job done like someone thinks we should.
…not that you aren’t responsible.
You probably are…
But the act of responsibility, which is the obligation to do something or care for someone, is not just part of your job or work-role in life. For the Christian man, responsibly is much heavier, heavenly, and high above the simple work we do.
But let’s start with a reality check.
Most of us aren’t averse to more responsibility. We’re averse to responsibility pulling us away from the work we are passionate about.
Most of us aren’t averse to more responsibility. We’re averse to responsibility pulling us away from the work we’re passionate about.
We’re perfectly fine with a responsibility that we’re interested in.
Because it doesn’t feel “responsible.” It feels like ownership or creativity.
But we’ve all been faced with work we rather not do. And the truth is there will never be a point in life where we won’t have at least a few tasks that we don’t feel up to…well…doing.
There‘s good news, though, for anyone who’s up to the task of godly work. You can “hack” your knee-jerk reaction to new or more responsibility.
Start by meditating on this colossal, Church-of-Colossae scripture:
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Whatever you do, however you do it, and whomever you do it for, doesn’t matter. It’s all rolled up into a greater sense of reverence for the Almighty himself.
After all, so is your inheritance and reward.
So start by doing all your work as “unto the Lord,”
Not any other moil of the day.
After all, God is not a taskmaster; though he is a Master of Tasks. In other words, He knows the best way for you to work alongside him.
Think of it this way: if God is your greatest passion then the responsibilities you would normally shy away from will just look like another opportunity to spend time with Abba.
In light of this, it’s best to eagerly pursue those responsibilities which you may dislike. They’re all an opportunity to have a working relationship with the Lord. Which by the way, is how your calling is discovered and purpose is fulfilled.
But granted, this mindset is easier discussed than executed; at least at first. Bolts rarely break without a wrench turn or two.
Our enemy knows this as well. And he will try and steal away this righteous thinking pattern (The Mind of Christ) from you.
He does this by attempting to make you anxious or stressed about a task, or by trying to make you forget that God already indwells you.
If he wins, responsibility will make you feel anxious.
Because you feel you’re doing it alone.
But you aren’t actually alone.
You’re in hot pursuit.
You passionately pursue the Almighty.
You passionately pursue the Kingdom.
You passionately pursue the work.
Responsibility just happens to be part of the fun.
God gave King Saul a similiar perspective when it came to his daily duty:
“Then the Spirit of the Lord will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man. Now when these signs meet you, do what your hand finds to do, for God is with you.”
1 Samuel 10:6-7
Most of us have experienced a “Lord rushed” moment – a time when we were turned into another man. “Born again” as the scriptures say.
But after that, most of us are left to fend for ourselves.
We know we’re saved – no issues there, but the question lingers: what does a new man do with his new life or the responsibilities that come with it?
He could try and “be” a good Christian.
He could wear Christian things or watch Christian media.
He could even get a fish-symbol bumper sticker to make sure the world really knew he’d changed his tune.
Somehow, though, those changes don’t stick, or worse, they bring the stress mentioned earlier.
So we try harder.
Or work harder.
Or if we’re really desperate, worship harder.
We do all of this to try and stem the tide of how we feel over how we function during the day.
But the solution is not to try harder; to buck up and eat our broccoli, or try and swallow responsibility like a pill the Divine Physician might fill for us. We’ll just get sick of (or stressed in) our work.
No. The Lord is much kinder than that.
He knows that responsibility and the recognition of “Kingdom Come” are always linked together.
Which is why he gives you the same freedom in your work as he did Saul. It’s an open offer: “…do what your hand finds to do, for God is with you.”
Take it or leave it as you wish.
Whether by wrench, or worksheet, or endless paperwork you cannot see the end of, the best course of action you can take is to put your hands towards something worthwhile; regardless of how you feel about the work itself.
The Lord, if you let Him, will turn you into a man who continues to look and work more like Christ. This is the benefit of sonship.