Personal Responsibility – God’s Perspective
Dealing with Addictions
With the rising use of fentanyl, the issue of addiction and drug related death has made news headlines. And yet, there is a lot of controversy over the “harm reduction” strategies, and “safe-injection sites” that are touted as solutions to the problem. These methods lack a serious look at the issue of personal responsibility in solving problems of addiction. For the scoffers who are caught up in their destructive lifestyles, and for the “addict enablers” who out of compassion or duty continue to support people in their addictions, counsel from God’s word might fall on deaf ears. However, biblical instruction when given to a wise person will have the effect of helping them assume their personal responsibility in order to effect change – and live productive lives. So what does God have to say about this crisis?
Cause and Effect
As in the realm of physics where every action has an equal and opposite reaction, so in the mental/spiritual realm, every action has a consequence. The bible begins with stories of men and women who acted, but refused to accept personal responsibility for the actions. God’s advice to them was to be accountable for their choices. Likewise, we must also realize that we have the power to rule ourselves. We must exercise integrity, and not shift the burden of responsibility for our actions onto others. Whatever the desires that might cause us to stray from the good choice, we can and must overcome them. Whether our challenge is overcoming drug addiction (pharmakos gr.) or other self-destructive behaviour, the scripture warns us that we must control our impulses, while giving us hope that with God’s help we can overcome.
The Faithful Servants
To God’s faithful servants, he gives the personal responsibility of representing him, walking in covenant with him, and teaching, and encouraging others. In Ezekiel’s parable of the watchman, or Jesus’ teaching about the faithful household steward of God’s household, it is apparent that God will hold his servants personally responsible for doing the work he had asked them to do. Patrick of Ireland, understood his calling and was able with God’s guidance to teach the Celtic Christian church in Ireland the commandments of God. Patrick understood his covenant with God as did Abraham, the Father of the faithful. Their examples of person responsibility provide us with encouragement, so that our goals, purposes, motives and actions, will also meet with Christ’s approval when we stand before his judgment seat.
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