Friday, August 14, 2009

Adulthood and Responsibility

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. (1 Corinthians 13:11 NRS)

Responsibility of Adulthood When we were still children, we were able to do things without having to account for our actions. Even when we made mistakes, we need not have to worry, because our accountability rest in the hands of our parents or guardians. Our well being was never our concern because they were the responsibility of the adults. Many of us, however, even before we have reached the age of adulthood, have already demanded for the rights to make our own decisions. Little did we know then, that the day we chose to make our own decisions was also the day we became accountable for our own actions, and not just our actions, but also the repercussions that result from our decisions.

As adults, we can no longer afford to take things for granted and assume someone else will take responsibility for the decisions we make, because every decision we make bears consequences. Adulthood is therefore not all about exercising our rights to make our own decisions. It is about responsibility, and responsibility is not just being accountable for the things we do, but also about handling the events in our lives that come along the way. When I was still in my early adulthood, for example, my father fell seriously ill and was bedridden for an extended period. Taking care of him with my siblings over several years was no easy task and each of us was drained of strength, energy and sleep. In a situation such as this, I could, as the youngest in the family starting on a new career, walk away from my responsibility and leave my siblings to take care of my dad, yet I did not do so because I am a part of the family. As a part of the family, therefore, I must do my part and take responsibility, for this is acceptable in the sight of God (1 Timothy 5:4). Like the good Samaritan in Jesus’ parable who took the responsibility to care for the wounded stranger (Luke 10:30-37), we as followers of the Lord should likewise care for the people whom God has placed in our lives, whether they are family, relatives, friends, colleagues or strangers.

All of us face different situations and circumstances in life, and as adults we must handle them well, regardless of our physical ability. Some situations however may be beyond us to handle on our own, and in such situations, we need to ask God for the strength to go through it and learn to do our part, and leaving God to do His. We should never turn away from responsibility, because if we do, we are not much different from a child who expects his or her parents or guardians to take the responsibility. If we fail to take responsibility or consider the interests of others when we make decisions, we will be like the ones whom the author of the epistle to the Hebrews said ought to be teachers, yet in need for someone to teach them again the basic elements of the oracles of God, and requiring milk instead of solid food (Hebrews 5:12-14). As grownups, therefore, we must end our childish ways (1 Corinthians 13:11), and not do anything from our own selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard the interests of others more important than ours (Philippians 2:3-5).

Dear Lord, remind us to consider the interests of others when we make decisions. Help us always to be ready to take responsibility, not only of our own actions, but also for actions requiring our responsibility. Open our eyes Lord to see the possible repercussions our decisions may cause, and lead us to make the right decisions. Strengthen us and see us through Lord in the handling of events that come along the way in our lives. Cause us to grow Lord in maturity that we may not always rely on others to be taught the basics and drink of milk, but to grow up to take responsibility and eat of the solid food.

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