The first blog post in this series looked at the importance of our relationship with God.  The second post revealed how God uses circumstances in our lives to foster our spiritual growth.  This post will examine the importance of personal responsibility in your spiritual growth.

Now some of you may be thinking, “Aren’t we supposed to let go and let God.  Isn’t that in the Bible, maybe the book of Second Hesitations?”  The truth is that it’s not in the Bible.  We get confused because we try to do what only what God can do and we abdicate the things that we are to do.  Passivity is a great danger to living the Christian faith.  Edmund Burke was correct when he penned these words, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

The words of the Apostle Paul do not sound like one who is passively drifting through life,

but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.  (1 Corinthians 9:27)

He encouraged the Philippians with these words from his life,

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 3:14)

You must learn to see that personal responsibility actually brings freedom.  Perhaps that is why some people are afraid of freedom –  they realize it implies responsibility and they would rather blame their circumstances.  You may not be able to change your circumstances, but you can adjust your sails.  Edith Hamilton  made a trenchant observation of ancient Greece, “Of Athenians: in the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life and they lost it all – security, comfort and freedom. When the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free.”


Charles J. Sykes has written a number of books that call for personal responsibility and his book 50 Rules Kids Won’t Learn in School reveals the problems that lack of responsibility engenders within the North American society.

Who is the person responsible for your spiritual well-being?  You can choose to rely on others, but ultimately it’s up to you.  Solomon’s advice written 3,000 years ago is just as timely for us today,

Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.  (Proverbs 4:23)

You must understand that being responsible for your duties is more important than the recognition of your rights.  God won’t make you walk in the Spirit, and the devil can’t make you walk in the flesh.

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.  Do everything in love.  (1 Corinthians 16:13-14)


RickAssociate Pastor – Discipleship.  The Church at LifePark

Professor of Discipleship, Columbia International University

Follow me on twitter:  rickhiggins5