So what does the Bible say about personal responsibility?
Throughout the Bible, the real problem was not the Philistines, Egyptians, Syrians, or Romans. It was not the Red Sea, the lack of water, or the absence of food for the people. Nothing could hinder God’s purpose for his people other than the people themselves.
Israel was Israel’s real problem. God split the Red Sea, rained down manna and quail, provided water from a rock, and gave them a land they did not plant and cities they did not build. And despite all of these saving acts of God that proved he has the power to overcome any obstacle for his people, the people lost faith.
The people were the people’s problem. God is and was full of power to do anything he wishes, but the people’s lack of faith in him cut themselves off from the flow of blessing and protection.
Here’s a doctrine people don’t like but it’s one we must understand if we are to find any relief in life: Every problem stemming from sin is completely our own fault. If you have issues with anger, unforgiveness, lust, gossip, gluttony, depression, idolatry, homosexuality, disrespect, or any other sin, you alone are to blame.
Taking personal responsibility means we rightly place blame where it belongs in our own lives. And the Bible says that the only people we should blame when we sin is ourselves.
The Bible Says We Must Take Personal Responsibility For Our Personal Sins
Whenever we sin, there is an urge to look to alternative explanations for what caused the sin. The doctor may detect a chemical imbalance that causes us to be gloomy for no apparent reason. Anger, drunkenness, same sex attraction, or gluttony may run in your family line. You may have been abused in your past. You may work in the worst environment on earth with the meanest people imaginable.
All of these outside factors may be true, people really have sinned against you, but the Bible says despite all of that, the person who sins is responsible for their own sin. It’s important to note where all the blame really belongs for sin because if we place it in the wrong place, we will then seek wrong solutions.
It’s not sinful to seek to correct the chemical imbalances that cause depression, get counseling to avoid destructive generational behavioral patterns, to seek healing from past abuse, or to recognize one is born with certain sinful tendencies. But to seek out an ultimate solution anywhere other than in Jesus Christ is a waste of time.
The Bible Says If We Don’t Take Personal Responsibility For Our Failures, We Will Eventually Blame God
The worst part, however, to placing the blame of our sin on something other than ourselves is that eventually we will end up blaming God. When the sin remains despite the pills, the therapy, and all the other external changes we seek to make, in the end there will only be one other person left to place our blame on – God.
If we will not take personal responsibility for our sins, the Bible says in Proverbs 19:3 that our hearts will eventually rage against the LORD. This is sin at its essence. Raging against God is exactly what sin is. The fastest way to ruin your walk with God is to be a person who looks for some other reason to why you keep sinning rather than just admitting that the sin in your life is due to your own sinfulness stemming from your sinful nature.
The faster we repent and accept the blame for our rebellion, the faster our relationship with God will be restored through the lavish and free grace of Jesus Christ. God is not looking for us to work to pay off all our sins, to change all the external triggers that we think cause our sin, or to do anything other than admit our rebellion, repent of our sin, and rely on the grace of Jesus Christ for our righteousness and transformation.
When We Take Personal Responsibility for Our Failures, We Will Have a Greater Gratitude for God’s Free Grace and Total Redemption
Placing blame properly by taking personal responsibility certainly does not mean we should abandon psychology, medicine, or avoiding things that trigger addictions. The solution side of taking personal responsibility to prevent sin must include practical solutions. God will heal, remove us from tempting situations, and change our external worlds. But without the repentance of personal sin, we will still be stuck despite all these good, practical changes.
The heart that is not raging against God is surely the heart that knows it does not deserve the purity it posses. In other words, taking personal responsibility for sin means you know you are the problem and thus you will not be the solution. This gives you a greater appreciation for your Savior.
The saints who are full of gratefulness, love, and devotion to God are those who realize they are fully responsible for their rebellion and yet God has forgiven them completely and has promised them boundless grace forever. To know that you have every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus despite the fact that you deserve none of it is surely at the root of a thankful heart to God.
What Does the Bible Say About Personal Responsibility? If You Are the Problem, You Won’t Be the Solution
The first step towards God is coming to terms with how totally insufficient you are for yourself and how desperately you are in need of the great and Almighty God.
But taking personal responsibility for one self is only about rightly placing the blame for your personal sin on yourself. The Bible makes clear that while we will never be the solution we need for our own sin, we do have a personal responsibility to seek the right solution in Christ. Yes God is sovereign. Yes we can do nothing apart from Christ. But when we take personal responsibility for our own lives, we will seek all solutions in the life of Christ.
So if you desire to keep your heart from raging against God, then keep your heart from blaming anything other than yourself for your sin. There may be explanations to why we have sinned, but there are never excuses. God is ready to empower you will a new life, to set your free from all condemnation, and help you grow more into his image every day.
Christ is ready to wipe your debts clear, but only when you are ready to take personal responsibility and admit they are your debts.