Chapter 40 – Responsibilities

 

From everyone who has been given much, much wil be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

– Luke 12:48, NIV

We all have responsibilities, different responsibilities at different stages of life. Some of these responsibilities we may resent at times, and others may be a joy to carry out. We have responsibilities of care for our families, respect for our elders, love for our spouses. It is our responsibility at work to do our jobs to the best of our abilities, and to work with integrity. It is our responsibility as Christians to be a witness of God’s love to those around us, and to care for our planet. The list could go on.

The ways in which we view and carry out our responsibilities is up to each one of us. May we surrender to God our hands and all that we are responsible for. May we give into His hands all our duties and obligations, as well as our attitudes towards each of them.

May we surrender to God our work-related responsibilities, and ask for His guidance and His help in carrying them out as best we can, seeing Him as our true Boss and working to please Him as well as our earthly managers. Sometimes we may despise being at work and resent the work we have to do – may we surrender to God our attitudes and our responsibilities there, and let Him guide us and shape our mindsets, and teach us to work in a way that pleases Him.

Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.

– 1 Samuel 15:22, NIV

May we give over to God our responsibilities of care for our families, and our attitudes towards them. Sometimes we may not feel like loving the spouse, or serving selflessly, or running around after the kids – sometimes family life can be absolutely exhausting. May we surrender to God our responsibilities in this area, and the way we think about them. May we surrender our temptations to take the easy route, to demand thanks or recognition, to prove ourselves right.

May we surrender the ways in which we speak to and care for those closest to us, and the way we treat them. May we allow God to show His love through us, and to teach us more about who He is through our family interactions and responsibilities, even when we feel like the last thing we want to do is look to Him. May we surrender to Him our time, our words, our actions, our energy levels, our joys and frustrations, our expectations of those closest to us, and our obligations to them.

May we also give Him our responsibilities towards those who may need us. Perhaps there are relatives who would be very happy to hear from us a little more regularly. Or perhaps there is a housebound lady on our street who would really benefit from some social interaction once or twice a week. Or perhaps there is a colleague at work who nobody speaks to, who may really appreciate some words of friendship and a little time. Or perhaps there is a conflict in our lives that needs to be resolved, even if the other party would refuse to take the first step. May we surrender to God these things, and our responsibilities as His people. May we allow Him to challenge, convict and inspire us, and may we have open hearts to respond to His call.

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

– Micah 6:8, NIV

And let us surrender to God our responsibility to be His witness to those who don’t yet know Him. It is easy to just drift through life going about our own business and forget that there are so many others all around us who don’t know God, and may be looking for answers or seeking spirituality or striving to fill that gap in their lives that only God can fill. May we surrender to God our responsibilities to them, and to Him, in being a witness to His love and grace. May we allow God to speak through us, and keep our hearts and minds open and responsive to His leading.

Similarly, it can be easy to forget our responsibility of love to our brothers and sisters in Christ. I’m sure all of us know Christians who are unfriendly or annoying or hurtful towards others, and we may be tempted to resent them, avoid them or retaliate against them. Let us surrender to God our responsibility of love towards other Christians, regardless of their attitudes or their behaviour. Let us bring ourselves before God, willing to obey Him and willing for Him to use us. Let us also surrender to God our responsibilities towards those in extreme poverty all over the world, recognising that we have more than enough for ourselves and have a responsibility of good stewardship of what we own, as well as compassion towards those in need.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.

– James 1:27, NIV

May we surrender to God our responsibility of care towards the environment in which we live – both locally and globally. We are responsible for keeping our houses and streets clean, and for caring for the world through making the right decisions about our use of the world’s resources. May we surrender to God and let Him teach us and lead us. May we give ourselves, our attitudes and our responsibilities into His hands, and be open for His transformative work to happen within us as we seek and serve Him in love and obedience.

Perhaps we can spend some time now considering these and other responsibilities we have, and surrendering them, and the way we think about them, to our loving God. May we be open to His challenge and His teaching, and may we respond in obedience, recognising that we belong to Him and desire to live for Him.

 

Lord, my God and Saviour,

Thank You for loving me as I am.

Thank You for giving Your life so that I can know You and belong to You.

I surrender myself to You now.

I give You my responsibilities, and the way I think about them.

I give You my workplace, and my responsibilities towards my managers and my colleagues.

I give You my family and my friends, and my responsibilities to them.

Please guide the way I speak and act towards them. 

I give You my responsibility of care to those in need all around me. Please teach me to be a good steward of my time and resources.

I give You my responsibility of being Your witness to those who don’t know You. Please use me.

I give You my responsibility of love to other Christians, including those I don’t get on with.

I give You my responsibility of care for the environment and people. 

Lord, please shape my attitudes, and teach me to serve You wholeheartedly.

I surrender my hands and all that I am responsible for.

I surrender to You the way I live – please teach me.

Amen

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