Just What Do You Mean "I Take Full Responsibility?"

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Just What Do You Mean "I Take Full Responsibility?"

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Seemingly, every day we are informed by the media of some high-profile individual, caught in wrongdoing, who then becomes the center of media attention and announces that he or she takes “full responsibility” for their actions.

What does that mean exactly?

The list of those who may come to your mind as I pose this question might include those in education, entertainment, politics and sports.

The pattern is all too familiar. Typically you have the high-profile individual who is generally well thought of by a great many people. Then they are found to be something much different than their carefully-crafted façade would let on. The wrongdoing is uncovered and reported to the public, the particular character flaw is exposed, a news conference is held, and the individual states to the media that he or she “takes full responsibility for their actions.”

Repentance only when “caught red handed”?

Has it come to the place where too many in our society believe that one must “take full responsibility” only when one is caught doing something that they shouldn’t have been doing in the first place? Wouldn’t taking full responsibility really mean that one would be living in such a responsible way as to not bring such dishonor in the first place and, therefore, give them no need for an apology?

What exactly are those who have been caught taking “full responsibility” for anyway? It appears, in too many cases, that those claiming to “take full responsibility” mean that they are now taking full responsibility in how they are going to “spin” the situation that they find themselves in. It appears, in too many cases, that they want to take “full responsibility” in damage control.

The truth of the matter is that we are living in an age of increasing irresponsibility in personal conduct. These days it’s just too easy to play the blame game. “I did what I did because of what my parents or society has done to me” is a spin or a defense too many would give for their unconscionable acts.

What is responsibility?

But back to the basic question I originally asked: Just what does it mean to take full responsibility?

Is there an authoritative place where you could go to find out just what it does mean to “take full responsibility” for your actions and for your life? The answer to that question is, yes!

God’s Word, the Bible, has a great deal to say on the subject of “taking full responsibility” for our actions and responsible living. The Bible is not just any book. It is the very counsel of God Himself. The counsel that the Bible offers is unique, coming from the great Designer and Creator of all life. As Designer and Creator, God reveals knowledge about the essentials of human living including how to live responsibly. As a matter of fact it could be said that the Bible is a manual on responsible living.

Note what the apostle Paul told the evangelist Timothy about the scriptures: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Biblical living is responsible living

The Bible is profitable for doctrine (doctrine is, in part, teaching us God’s eternal truths), and is profitable for reproof (convicting us that our sins need to be repented of and that we need to make real change so as to conform to God’s righteous standards). But even more, the Bible is profitable for correction (teaching us how, exactly, to mend our ways) and the Bible is profitable for instruction in righteousness (not only must we rid ourselves of destructive behaviors, but we must be taught how to live constructive, fruitful lives).

Note what Paul says at the end of verse 17, “that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Here Paul is saying that God’s Word reveals the way to truly responsible living before God and our fellow human beings!

Just what do you mean, “I take full responsibility”? It means living the way that God intended for you and me to live!

If you would like to learn more from God’s Word about responsible living please write for the following free literature: Is the Bible True?, Making Life Work and How To Understand the Bible.


  • vince thompson

    I disagree with you that these issues are "inherent" within church "leadership and ministry". Most of the leaders within God's churches are fine, well intended, upright servants of God and His people. They are, however, just as we all are, imperfect, flawed, and in need of Christ's cleansing blood to reconcile them to God. Because they are in leadership positions however, within God's spiritually called out ones, they are treated differently in scripture. Timothy proscribes that "sinning" Elders not be dealt with in secret but rather,"...rebuke in the presence of all that the rest may also fear."(1 Tim. 5:20)
    Unfortunately, this is something NO Church of God has ever been bold and honest enough to implement. I beleive that the organization which finally does this and comes clean when they fail instead of pointing to others will finally receive God's favor in a way that will make it painfully obvious where He is working in this end time.


  • fryriver

    This is an interesting topic. I couldn't agree more that all too often members of global governance teams only admit to wrong doing when caught "red handed"; and even then may skirt the actual facts. I am interested to know the processes United has in place for similar types of issues. In other words, in my limited understanding, all men/women sin; how does the church handle similar issues that are inherent in the leadership and ministry? Continuing with the analogy of the article: if one has sinned, that individual should openly repent of that sin especially when holding a leadership office/position; this is what is considered by God as taking full responsibility. To come full circle then, how does church leadership handle sins and admitting so-called full responsibility, with regards to personal sins that have an affect on membership or the church in general?

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