Monday, February 17, 2014

Upside Down

I liked Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein’s article on Personal Responsibility. Maybe you’ve seen the following satirical illustration about personal responsibility. The first frame shows a picture of an obese man eating a burger and fries with the text, “McDonalds made me fat.” In the next frame, the same man is seen chain-smoking cigarettes with the text, “Phillip Morris gave me cancer.” Next, the man is pictured driving his car into a wall while the text explains, “Jack Daniels wrecked my car.” In the last scene, the man appears livid as the text reads: “Now they must pay for all the suffering that they caused!”

It’s much easier to blame others than take responsibility for our own actions. But in the end, we harm ourselves more than those we blame.

God knows the truth. God knows who is responsible and who is innocent. Those who shift the blame will ultimately bring damage upon themselves.

While it may be tempting to shirk responsibility, we cannot escape the results of our actions. So while it may seem easier to hide from accountability, in the end it only complicates our lives. It is only when we accept responsibility for our actions that we can rectify our mistakes. The moment we take responsibility for our lives is when we can change almost anything. It’s only in owning up to our failures that we can truly succeed.

Your Key

Your habits determine your future. Psychologists estimate that 90 per cent of your behaviour is habitual - 90 per cent! Habits can help you do things more quickly and remove mental clutter so that you can think about more important things. But they can also be detrimental and lead you in a direction that is out of line with your dream. Think about the person who dreams of winning an Olympic gold medal in the marathon, but smokes two packs of cigarettes a day. Or the person who dreams of being a fashion model, but eats 6,000 calories a day without exercising. Or the business person who dreams of leading a winning team, but habitually insults and belittles employees. Habits have a cumulative effect, and often the results don't show up until much later in life. If your habits are bad, by the time the damage is evident it's too late to alter your results.

That's why you need to take control of your habits, now. Unless you are willing to confront the habits you need to change, and institute new ones, you can stand on 101 different Scriptures, claiming God's promises, but you'll get nowhere.

Just think about it:

“They were all filled with the Holy Spirit” – Acts 2:4

     The early Christians had no building, no airplanes, no automobiles, no printing presses or television or radio.  Yet they turned their world “upside down” for Christ.  They started a spiritual revolution that shook the very foundations of the Roman Empire.

     In the face of opposition and overwhelming odds they stayed courageous, bold, dauntless, and full of faith.  They lived their lives daily for Christ, no matter what others thought.  They gladly suffered scorn, persecution, and even death for their faith in Christ.

     What was their secret?  The Bible gives us the key; “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit.”  The Holy Spirit changed their lives, and those they met couldn’t help but be impressed by their love and the quality and purity of their lives.  What keeps us from turning our world “upside down” for Christ? – Billy Graham


Raj Kosaraju

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