The virtue of taking responsibility

Now a man names Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. Then Peter said, Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”— Acts 5:1-4

Some years ago, a former American astronaut took over as head of a major airline. He was determined to make the airline’s service the best in the industry. One day, as the new president walked through a particular department, he saw an employee resting his feet on a desk while the telephone on the desk rang incessantly.

Aren’t you going to answer that phone?” the boss demanded.

No, sir. This isn’t my department,” answered the employee nonchalantly, apparently not recognizing his new boss. “I work in maintenance.

Not anymore you don’t!” snapped the president.

Recently, author John G. Miller wrote a book called The Question Behind the Question, where he discusses the epidemic of shunning personal responsibility that’s so prevalent among people today. His argument is that we’d be much more fulfilled in life if we’d simply take responsibility when we’re supposed to.

This is not a new concept. In fact, as you see in today’s story of Ananias, it’s biblical. As Christians, we’re to accept responsibility, even when things don’t go the way they should. So whatever your responsibilities are in life, be quick to accept them.

Prayer Challenge

Pray that God would give you the courage to accept responsibility even when things don’t go how they should.

Questions for thought

Why do you think it’s tempting to shun responsibility when things don’t go the way they should?

How can you practice maintaining responsibility even if it means accepting blame for things going wrong?