I don’t know about you, but I have heard the word responsible a lot lately. In Organic Church, or shared Life community, we have a notion of removing ourselves from anything that resembles structure and responsibility.
I have heard brothers and sisters say things like,
We are free. If we don’t feel like the Lord wants us to, we don’t have to. There’s freedom in that. Our only responsibility is to follow the Lord’s leading. We are free.
That takes some folks from another perspective by surprise a little. Some people see being free from responsibility as something that could be dangerous.
While I was in a meeting in my area recently, I heard a sister say, “response-able.”
That took me on a trip. And I thought I’d share. You know, cuz language is important when you are talking to people. When you use language to convey an idea, you put the thought in the idea of that language. So I decided to dig on responsible.
And . . . WOW!
Perhaps you will discover some nuggets as I did!
- a: liable to be called on to answer; b: (1) liable to be called to account as the primary cause, motive or agent (2) being the cause or explanation; c: liable to legal review or in case of fault to penalties
- a: able to answer for one’s conduct and obligations; b: able to choose for oneself between right and wrong (trustworthy)
- marked by or involving responsibility or accountability
- politically answerable
Am I responsible? Are you responsible? I think most of us can ex out number 4. Number 3 connects us to the idea we regularly think from. Number 2 goes a little deeper with the idea of conduct and obligations and being trustworthy and such. But what about that first definition?
Are we liable to be called on to answer?
Are we the cause or explanation or the primary cause, motive or agent?
Liable to be Called on to Answer
Read about some cool dudes in the Old Testament who were responsible. They were liable to be called on to answer…and they did! There were some thirty men who backed up King David back in the day. Any time something went down around King David, these thirty mighty men stepped and took care of business.
I can remember times in my life when I was asked to answer a call…and didn’t. I looked at this event as just shrugging off a task. You know, just looking past it. Ignoring it. Letting someone else deal with it, knowing I had gifts and talents that would handle whatever was being requested at the moment. But shrugged.
I have been working in some business concepts recently and have come to see the word liable a bit differently these days. In a Balance Sheet, an owner looks at their Owner’s Equity in the company as equaling their Assets minus their Liabilities.
Basically, their cool stuff they own and their cash minus all the stuff they owe equals their value in their company.
I would venture (pun intended) to say that in the Life and Body of Christ, the equation for each of us is something similar. The Lord has a certain “Equity” in His Creation. He has “Purchased” our lives with His sacrifice on the cross. We are a “Liability” on His Eternal Balance Sheet.
Hebrews 11 describes some of the “Assets” that He has cashed in. Those mighty men King David had are definitely part of those “Assets” today.
As we are on this earth, we are able to give our lives to His Purposes. We are liable to His gifts and talents He has given and invested in us. And when called on to answer, we have the opportunity to increase the Lord’s “Owner’s Equity.”
Cause. Explanation. Primary Cause, Motive or Agent
Have you ever tapped on someone’s shoulder and walked the other way?
When I used to do that in middle school…and yesterday…I was looking to be funny and get a laugh. When I got found out, I was the cause…the agent…the explanation.
I was responsible.
I was reminded through this video that I shrug being responsible some times. It’s funny…sometimes.
It is also important to be responsible.
It is important to be a part of the cause, the explanation, the motive, the agent of the Purpose of God. I hope that as we see the word responsible in a refreshed light, we take the word and live in the first definition a little more.
May we be the primary agents of Christ. May we fulfill the value that has been placed on us by the purchase Christ made. May we become an Asset to His Kingdom!