What does ‘Live Responsibly’ look like in this life?
Driving, at times can be relaxing…when there aren’t other drivers on the road that is…which is obviously very rare. Other times when we drive there are drivers which test our patience am i right? The driver behind is riding your bumper and thinks you’re driving too slow, speed up and you become just like the driver behind you and get annoyed with the slower driver in front of you. It’s a never ending cycle of frustration. Isn’t it interesting that colds and virus’ aren’t the only things that are contagious? Don’t believe me? Just hang out with a person who is always sour long enough and you too will become sour. Spend time with one who is constantly angry and you too will find your temper (and blood pressure) becoming higher. Emotions and attitudes are also contagious. The opposite is also true. Spend time with a loving and level headed person and soon you will long to act and behave in that same manner.
I’m reminded of the beer commercials during sporting events that reminds us to ‘Drink Responsibly’…I’d like to adapt that concept, not for the consumption of alcohol, but rather for living our day to day lives…we ought to LIVE Responsibly! After all, who is responsible for the choices we make? We Are! You and I are responsible! We can’t shy away from the fact that when we make choices, we have to live with the consequences. We can’t blame others for the destinations of our choices. We have to take responsibility for our lives…we have to live responsibly!
It is true that we shouldn’t live by our emotions, but at the same time we ought to be wise in the company that we keep. After all we are responsible for our actions not someone else. When we live responsibly we start to recognize the triggers that can set us on a path that can and will lead to our destruction. When we live responsibly we begin to grasp just a fragment of what’s at stake in this life.
What living responsibly isn’t:
Living responsibly doesn’t mean we can’t have fun or enjoy life, in fact the opposite is true. When we live responsibly we will not only grasp the importance in life but also enjoy life a little more…maybe we laugh a little deeper, we relish the company of healthy influences and we invest in its enjoyment.
2) We stop risking
Sorry, that’s not true either. When we live responsibly we take calculated risks but in different ways. No longer are we not thinking of the consequences but we are taking risks for others. By that I mean we will extend ourselves to others who might need positive change in their lives but they don’t recognize it yet. In our Christian worldview that means we are sharing the love of Christ with those who haven’t heard or experienced it yet. We take risks for others instead of ourselves…these types of risks are far more rewarding and far reaching that the risks with selfish desires attached.
3) We lose friends
Perhaps this is a half truth, because when we live responsibly we will find that some friends will simply walk away from us…but we will also gain friendships with deeper ties and firmer foundations. Living responsibly (as a Christian) will force us to put on godly lenses in our living and lifestyles. When we do, and we recognize the paths that God wishes us to travel on, we too will be joined by other sojourners on the journey. This comradely will impact our lives like nothing before it. The fellowship of believers is something everyone needs, and a sense of belonging will stem from these relationships.
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe” (Philippians 2:12-15 NIV)
Living Responsibly will impact not just our lives but the lives of those around us…so how about it? Will you allow the infection and emotions of others to effect you, or will you take the initiative to impact your world for God? The choice falls to us…no one can force us to take this bold step of faith. Live it out loud and take this great leap of faith for yourself and for others!
Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”