Personal Responsibility


2Th 3:10-12  For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

With in the above scripture we find two principles: work and personal responsibility. If a person wants to eat then a person must work.

For an example:

If a farmer wants a good crop then he must do the things that are necessary to ensure that his fields produce.

Pro 6:6-8   Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
7.  Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
8.  Provideth her meat in the summer, [and] gathereth her food in the harvest.

Most of us have heard the story of Mr. Ant and Mr. Grasshopper. Through out the summer the ant worked and stored up provisions for the winter. The grasshopper spent his summer in leisure, idly hopping from place to place. It seemed like in no time at all that the icy winds of winter begin to blow and as the temperature begun to plummet, the grasshopper found himself shivering with no food and no place to go. He soon found his way to Mr. Ants house and in desperation pounded upon his door crying " please let me in, I'm freezing out here and I have no food."

It wasn't long until Mr. Ant opened his door and invited the grasshopper in. Now mind you, Mr. Ant was not a wealthy ant, he and his family struggled to make ends meet. As the winter passed slowly by, Mr. Ant was often exasperated by the grasshoppers antics. Mr. grasshopper was wasteful, did not have any consideration for the others in the house and insisted on his way. One day while away, the ants returned home to find a houseful of Mr. grasshopper's friends trashing their home. Finally spring came and the grasshopper left, to the relief of the ant family. 

Have you ever heard this?

Dad, I don't have enough to pay my rent, car payment etc. What did you do with your pay check? Oh, I had to get some new cloths, I went out with my friends etc."

At an interview for a job, a young man was asked how many places have you worked? In response, the young man said, "um lets see, so far 5 jobs this summer" When asked why he quit them, he said, "I didn't have time to party with my friends." Sound like anyone we know?

There is a time to help someone; when they are trying and are assuming responsibility but if they are only riding the back of someone else; then giving to them only encourages their irresponsible behavior. Whether it be our children or strangers.

Matthew 6:26   Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

  • Early one morning I watched a robin in the process of building her nest. She selected some dry grass along a fence row and tugged and tugged until she broke some free; with the ability that God gave, she soon had this incorporated into her nest.

God provided everything that the robin needed to fulfill its purpose.

God provided but it was the responsibility of the bird to do the work.

Over the years I have met a lot of people who have failed to realize that they were responsible for their own lives.

Let us examine these two areas:  work and individual responsibility.

What does God expect from us?



Genesis 3:19  In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou [art], and unto dust shalt thou return.

The Lord instituted the work ethic from the very beginning. From time to time everyone may need a little help but it is not God's will that we make that our life style.

Please notice:

1Thessalonians 4:11-12  And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.

2Th 3:10-12  For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.
12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

Apparently some of the early Christians had quit working and were taking advantage of their brothers and sisters in Christ. ( freeloading )

Paul told them to work and provide for themselves.

  • There are many legitimate reasons why a person cannot work, or assume personal responsibility such as disabilities etc.

Slothfulness ( laziness )

Proverbs 24:30  I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;
31 And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, [and] nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.
32 Then I saw, [and] considered [it] well: I looked upon [it, and] received instruction.
33 [Yet] a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
34 So shall thy poverty come [as] one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.

Proverbs 22:13  The slothful [man] saith, [There is] a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.
                     ( A lazy person will make all kinds of excuses )

Some people have the idea that all they have to do is have faith and God will do the rest.

God is not going to take your garbage out or wash your dishes!


Provide someone to help you if you are disabled but if you are healthy, He expects you to take care of your responsibility.

Deuteronomy 28:12 The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.

Good Stewardship

1Corinthians 4:1-2  Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

In this teaching, being a good steward means taking care of what God has given to you.

Dad, I don't have enough to pay my rent, car payment etc. What did you do with your pay check? Oh, I had to get some new cloths, I went out with my friends etc."

Sound familiar?

If I have to buy my clothing at goodwill or garage sales just to make ends meet, is it right that I should give to my grown healthy son the few dollars that I have saved back, so that he can blow it own some overpriced pair of shoes, to impress his friends?

If he wants to buy the shoes, then let him earn the money for them and in so doing he will quickly learn the value of money.


Should you or I give money to a person that does not exercise wisdom and self control in their personal affairs?

How many times have we tried to help someone by sharing God's word and the wisdom that you have gained by experience and often by mistakes; only to have them fling it back into your face with such statements as "don't lecture me or don't preach to me." They're not willing to listen to good council on how to prosper because it may put checks and balances on their irresponsible behavior. What they want you to do is give them a quick fix to take care of their immediate problem, brought on by their lifestyle.

An example:

A certain lady bought a $200 puppy, instead of paying her utility bill. Upon getting a shut off notice she immediately called her pastor and asked if the church could pay the bill.

When you or I give to people that do not take personal responsibility for their lives and actions, we only enforce this kind of behavior.

At some point our children, family or friends must assume the responsibility of their own lives and actions.

In Christ's Service 
E.L. Davis