The Power is in the Decision

In his book, The Seven Decisions, Andy Andrews writes, “The Responsibility Decisions shows us how to stop blaming other people and outside circumstances for where we are in life.”  The first chapter of this good book addresses the subject of passing the buck.

It was Harry S. Truman who popularized the phrase, “The Buck Stops Here” by keeping a sign on his desk in the Oval Office with that phrase, but the idea of passing the buck is as old as humanity itself.

In the Garden of Eden, when Adam ate the forbidden fruit from the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil” he tried to avoid personal responsibility by blame-shifting Eve for his sin. Pilate attempted to absolve his guilt in the matter of the crucifixion of Christ: “‘I am innocent of this man’s blood,’ he said. ‘It is your responsibility!’” (Matthew 27:24). Ultimately, attempts to pass the buck are futile. “You may be sure that your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).

At times all of us have attempted to blame others for our situation or circumstances in life.  It is far easier to shift the blame to others than it is to accept the fact that everything in our life is a matter of choice.  The common thread to this flawed way of life is by using the four most dangerous words in our language:

It’s Not My Fault

Over the past 40 years I have preached a simple evangelistic message over 10,000 times that addresses the truth that we all must face in our spiritual and physical lives.  The first, most salient point is this,

“It might not be your fault, but it is your problem!”

And because it is our problem, it is our responsibility.  Everything you face today comes down to a decision.  Whatever decision you make will impact you and influence others.  There are always consequences for the decisions we make and the Bible expects us to take personal responsibility in all areas of life. Able-bodied people should work for their food. “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Men are to take responsibility for providing for their households (1 Timothy 5:8).

As we understand that life is our responsibility here are three things I want you to remember that will aide you in accepting personal responsibility for your life.  The ABC’s are:

  1. Awareness.  Some of us spend too much time simply running on autopilot.  It is true that autopilot has some uses it can never be permanent.  The bible proclaims, “This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!” (Ps, 118:24)  The “I will” is the decision of awareness.
  2. Blame-less. Stop looking for and never blame anyone else for your decisions.  Take the road of personal responsibility and remind yourself that the buck stops here.  It’s not his fault, it’s not her fault, it’s not their fault.  Accept responsibility and believe that God is sufficient for all your needs.  “Cast all your care on Jesus, because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7 para)
  3. Certainty.  Remember, life is a choice.  Ask yourself this question:  What are likely to be the consequences for this decision?  Is this what a really want to happen?  One of the most crystal clear statements that the Apostle Paul makes is about the certainty of God when he wrote:  Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (Gal. 6:7-8)

If you and I will accept the power of decision and own the decision we will be ready to be all that God wants us to be.  Remember, the buck stops here.  When we take the personal responsibility for our decisions we will enjoy the journey all the more.