What is responsibility?

February 5, 2023
What is responsibility?

Have you heard that before? Probably quite a few times. What are your first thoughts when someone says: “who’s responsible?!” We usually think someone is in trouble or made mistake, error or blunder. Most often the mistake is big to get that kind of response.

Responsibility is defined as:

  • being the one who must meet an obligation or suffer the consequences for failing to do so
  • Having a capacity for moral decisions and therefore accountable

We live in a society that has made shifting blame a national pastime. “It wasn’t me! It was my... (upbringing, parents, siblings, boss, society, global warming, covid, etc.)” fill in the blank.The fault is someone else, not me!

Maybe the blame game is inherited. Remember what Adam said to God when confronted with eating the forbidden fruit? Genesis 3:12, “The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”

He actually blamed God for his sin! That sounds crazy, but people blame God with great regularity. People tend to blame anyone but themselves. 

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t be able to sit for a month.” We need to stop shifting blame.

Eric Thomas, in his book "You Owe You" said, "Meaningful success begins when we take ownership and responsibility for our part in the shortcomings of our life."

Responsibility is a word that can bring incredible freedom, though. Why? Taking responsibility for our mistakes brings the opportunity to fix and learn from the error. Nothing can be learned, though without taking responsibility.

Jim Rohn said, “The day you graduate from childhood to adulthood is the day you take full responsibility for your life.” 

We see people trying to make everyone else responsible for their lives, their boss, the person who owns the sidewalk I trip on, etc. I become a willing participant in my own downfall/failures when I make everyone else responsible for my happiness and success. 

Want to grow, learn, and become the person you were designed to become? Want to be successful beyond your wildest imagination? Want to get unstuck? 

Take responsibility. 

Make an inventory of your situation: 

  • where was the problem? 
  • What did I miss? 
  • What can I learn so I do not let this happen again? 

All these questions can only be answered when we take responsibility. And the only way to move forward in life is through taking responsibility for our errors, mistakes and sins.

Want success? Face your failures. Only then can changes be made.

Who’s responsible?