Greg Litmer
via That Ye May Grow Thereby.

We live in a day and at time when no one seems to want to take responsibility for their own actions and very few want to hold individuals accountable for what they have done. If a person commits a crime, it is society's fault. If a person engages in behavior that is detrimental to their health such as drinking, smoking, overeating, or taking illicit drugs -- it is not because they are doing something wrong. It is because they are sick, suffering from a disease of some sort. No one wants to take responsibility. The rallying cry of the day seems to be: "Don't blame me!"

This isn't a new phenomenon. It has been occurring since man first appeared on the earth. When God confronted Adam for eating the forbidden fruit, his response was, "The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave of the tree to me and I did eat it." So Adam blamed Eve, and even God Himself. When Eve was questioned about the matter, she responded with, "The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat." It wasn't her fault; it was the serpent's fault.

God told the people of Judah that they could blame no one else for their defeat and captivity at the hands of the Babylonians. In Jeremiah 31:29,30 we find, "In those days they shall say no more, 'The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth shall be set on edge.' But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge." Later, while actually in the Babylonian Captivity, God told His people through the prophet Ezekiel, "What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge? As I live, saith the Lord God, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb" (Ezekiel 18:2-3).

I suppose that there is some comfort to be found in not accepting responsibility for our own actions, particularly if there will be negative consequences for doing so. It is understandable when a small child is caught in the midst of some transgression and responds by saying, "I didn't do it, " or perhaps, "It is not my fault." After all, a small child is in the process of learning to accept responsibility. It is a sad thing indeed when an adult seeks to shift the blame.

There is a basic and consistent principle taught throughout God's Word. It is clearly stated in Galatians 6:7-8. Paul wrote, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap live everlasting." We are personally responsible for the things we do or don't do.

Ultimately, it will not matter if we have convinced others and ourselves that the sinful things we have done are just not our fault. Paul wrote in II Corinthians 5:10, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ: that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." It is so much better, as well as being pleasing to God, to simply accept responsibility for our actions. Repent when repentance is called for; make the necessary corrections. In God's sight we are responsible for what we do.