Have you ever done something you wish you’d never done? If we’re all honest, we can say that we have. We can’t blame our actions on anyone else—no matter if we feel somebody pressured us into it. How we act or how we react to someone else’s action is always a choice we make. “We are each responsible for our own conduct,” Paul wrote (Galatians 6:5, NLT).
We need to take responsibility for what we believe, what we say, how we act, and how we react. We’re not responsible for circumstances over which we have no control, but we’re responsible for how we respond to those circumstances and to failures, trials, and the ugliness that human life presents. We are totally responsible for our actions and reactions.
Spiritual maturity should create the desire to act responsibly. If I react badly to the ugly actions of others, then I alone make that choice. Either the grace of Christ within me is greater than someone’s actions or it’s not. When I become as the person who has offended and caused pain, then I offend and cause pain in return. My offence may be something that needs to be addressed. But how it’s addressed makes all the difference whether what I say will be considered or not.
Spiritual maturity teaches that the next time I’m faced with circumstances of my own making, I will be accountable for them. And when faced with circumstances not of my own making, I will choose to act and react with the grace of Christ. I have the power of the Holy Spirit within me to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit. And God has the power to change hearts. Against the qualities of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, evil has no power.
When I’m willing to make the selfless journey of surrender to the grace of the Savior who gave His life for me—when I’m willing to accept my responsibility for my actions and reactions—when I yearn to know more than anything who I am in His love, I begin to receive knowledge and wisdom the Holy Spirit can only use in a surrendered life.
Take responsibility for your actions and reactions. Allow your thoughts and your attitude to be renewed continually by the Holy Spirit. You will discover the freedom that comes with knowing who you are in Christ. You can be honest and speak in love. There are no masks you need to wear. Where the Holy Spirit is, you have the freedom to not be controlled by hate or anger or bitterness or pain. You will believe and have the power to act upon the truth that you are free to love as you have been loved.
© 2021 Lynn Lacher
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