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Friday, 13 August 2010

Personal responsibility - again!

Two of this week's news items will, doubtless, be seen as good news for many. One headline read: Scots scientists developing protein pill to tackle obesity; the other declared that: Cholesterol-busting drugs could be served with fast-food meals!

So, I guess that's alright then. I can gorge myself with all the high-fat-content foods that I want, confident that science will take care of the undesired, and unhealthy, effects!

Whatever happened to the concept of personal responsibility? It certainly seems to be in short supply in our 21st century cultures! Last year, it was British politicians using 'creative accounting' to cover their abuse of the expenses system but, when caught, complaining that they had been 'wrongly advised'! There are many reports of leaders in the so-called 'developing world' siphoning off to their private bank accounts, large amounts of the financial aid their countries receive, with no apparent thought of the devastation they are causing for millions! So many seem to expect the state to provide everything for them, through fraudulent benefit claims! Certain bankers have been seen to be putting personal profit before the good of their customers! It's the "I'm alright, Jack" syndrome gone mad. Just let me live as selfishly, and self-indulgently, as I want - and ensure that others deal with the fall-out!

There is, of course, one very important area in which personal responsibility cannot be abrogated - the area of one's eternal salvation. The faith of my forefathers will not be sufficient for my salvation; their lack of faith will not bar me from salvation. Before God, I am an individual, responsible for my own life.

Many years ago, The Times newspaper ran the headline What's wrong with the world? A few days later, a 'letter to the editor', written by a well-known Christian named G.K.Chesterton, was published. It was a very short letter in which he merely quoted the headline and so, the whole letter, in the style of the day, read:

Dear Sir,

What's wrong with the world?

I am,
Yours faithfully,
G.K.Chesterton

What's wrong with the world? I AM! Here was a man who was willing to accept responsibility for his own life, even to the extent of admitting that his contribution to the world of mankind in general, was not all that it might have been.

When that Day comes, we each will stand before the throne of God - and we will be alone. Well, not quite! That's part of the wonder of the Christian Gospel - the Good News. Those who have, in faith, accepted the Lord Jesus as their personal Saviour, in this life, and have acknowledged Him as such, will find that He is with them, and that they are already passed from death unto life (see Matt.10:32, Lk.12:8; Jn.5:24).

Paul wrote: "... I know the One in Whom I trust, and I am sure that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until the day of His return." (II Tim 1:12; NLT). A personal knowledge - I know; a personal trust - I trust; a personal assurance - I am sure. It all leads to a personal salvation. May that be your experience, today.

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