Understanding Responsibility

by Shane Wall

For it is not [intended] that other people be eased and relieved [of their responsibility] and you be burdened and suffer [unfairly] 2 Corinthians 8:13 (AMP)

This past Sunday, my wife made a presentation to me before the service was dismissed at the church I pastor. She read a poem that she had written, and at the end she informed me, in front of the entire congregation, that she was pregnant. You can probably imagine my surprise, shock and of course, my sheer delight. The crowd gave an expected response. Some were running. Others were jumping and screaming in excitement, including my 81­-year-­old father.

Even though I’m elated about our first child (and we believe it’s a boy), responsibility has been my focus, more than constantly sharing each detail of our family plan on my Facebook page. I accept the fact that as the head of the home, I’m responsible for my family’s well-­being, and I pray that anyone who has fathered a child does the same.

When we assume a particular role in life, gaining and applying the understanding of our responsibilities will bring great success. Being that my responsibility does not encompass everything in life, I’m not required to gain the understanding of all things. In my previous book, What Are You Doing After the Dance?, I shared that responsibility is our response to our ability.

“Do you understand everything, Dr. Wall?” someone may ask. I would respond by saying that I do not. I could easily point out that nobody understands everything, but I prefer to answer this way: I don’t understand everything because I’m not responsible for everything.

Jesus was responsible for more than just dying as payment in full for our sins. God entrusted Him to inform us of the Kingdom of God, what it is and how we are to operate in it. He faced dreadful opposition during his three years of active ministry on the earth, but He never strayed from His purpose. Neither should we when we are confronted with the difficulty of completing our God­-given assignments.

Jesus did not try to make a reputation for Himself, nor did He try to accomplish any other self-­fulfilling goals. Just as God gave to Jesus, He will also give us the power to successfully respond to and complete our life’s mission.

Because we don’t have the ability to do everything, we don’t have to understand everything, but I strongly recommend that we understand everything we can about the abilities we do possess so that we can cultivate them. That is our responsibility.

Everyone we hope to affect in life needs us to be at our very best. This is why as individuals we need to obtain the greatest level of understanding available concerning our individual purpose. Only God can truly make our way prosperous so that we can always experience good success. (Joshua 1:8)

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