Tag Archives: responsibility

That Lyin’ Pride: Did I Do That?

peacocks by tina phillips

image courtesy of Tina Phillips / freedigitalphotos.net

I saw a friend last night whose son was recently arrested in a neighboring state (where he lived) for driving while under the influence of heroin. The son went to rehab—for the second time this year—and charges are pending for him in that state. Last night, the son was with my friend as we mutually did a service project together. I struck up a conversation with the son, asking him how he was doing and how his wife and three young girls were handling life. He was upbeat, noting that they were moving into the area from the neighboring state. Some things he said included, “Man, they are trying to put me in jail in that state! I had to get out of there!” “My job was just too stressful. I need to do something less stressful.” “I was on the road too much. I just need to drive less and work less hours.” I nodded and smiled, but inside, my stomach turned. In that short conversation, I wondered if I was talking to someone who was truly ready for a full recovery. My heart grieved a bit, since as a former addict, I remembered being there myself many times facing my biggest enemy: pride.

Los Angeles Lakers player Jeremy Lin recently said that the biggest sin he struggled with was pride. I agree with Lin’s assessment, but not for the same reasons that he likely said it. I agree with him because pride is actually the basis for every sin that we commit. And in that case, everyone’s biggest sin is pride, because every sin is a direct result of our belief that we know better than God—the very definition of pride. I wanted to write this series on pride because pride is so prevalent in our lives–especially mine. So let’s talk about the subtle ways pride whispers into our ears and causes us to sin.

One of the loudest things pride says to us is, “It ain’t my fault.” (Did I do that?) This lie is especially a problem for addicts. We tend to blame everyone else—our family, our job, stress, our past, our desires—we will do anything possible to not take the blame for our issues. Sometimes we blame others, sometimes we even blame God (“He never should have given me these desires!”, says the porn addict). But the key to silencing this prideful voice is personal responsibility. We make our own choices, and we need to admit our mistakes. The Bible says that if we do, God will forgive us and cleanse us from our sins (1 John 1:9). Taking responsibility for your actions is one of the best lessons you can learn, as a child AND as an adult. When you make a mistake, you should own up to it, not blame others or your circumstances. My friend’s son spoke nothing of his own misdeeds—he did not own up his mistake of choosing illegal drugs. Instead, he blamed “the system” for what it wanted to do to him and his job for being too stressful and too mobile.

However, when we are ready to be healthy, when we are ready to move forward in life, it’s no longer about blame or making static, circumstantial changes—it’s about accepting responsibility so that real change can take place inside you. You see it in the eyes of every addict who has moved beyond blame and into accountability. They begin to make better choices about things that really matter. They are no longer afraid to admit their mistakes—because humility has assured them that to err is human. If the first step is admitting that you have a problem, then silencing this prideful voice is where most people begin in recovery.

Pride is sneaky, and it shows up in every area of our lives. That’s why we have to be aware of its many voices, dialects, and sounds. As we continue to break down our pride, both in this series and in our lives, may God make us more discerning about how to increase our humility and become more like Him!

What are some other ways pride says, “It ain’t my fault?”

Becoming Fearlessly Fulfilled: Authentic Responsibilities

The other day, I was hanging with my “other” family—a close-knit family that I love dearly and is incredibly close to my heart. The mother and daughter were having an honest conversation about something when the daughter essentially said, “Mom, every time you don’t do this, you make me feel guilty. I need you to do something else so that I won’t feel guilty.” The mother said, “I’m sorry, but I can’t help that what I do makes you feel guilty.” I nodded in agreement with the mother, because she was right: her daughter was placing responsibility for her feelings with someone else.

responsibility by renjith krishnan

image courtesy of renjith krishnan / freeditigalphotos.net

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned through my journey towards health is about authentic responsibilities. What are authentic responsibilities? These are the honest, real assessments that only we can make about ourselves. The term implies the real responsibilities each person takes upon themselves and the responsibilities each of us have for our own wellbeing. Over the next few weeks, I will be blogging about authentic responsibilities, which was introduced to me by Kathryn Chamberlin, a licensed social worker, while I was attending Celebrate Recovery. There are fourteen authentic responsibilities from Ms. Chamberlin that we will discuss over the next few weeks.

As we begin this incredible discussion, here are a few things to remember as you consider authentic responsibilities:

  • Swallow the shallow. At first glance, these responsibilities may read as very prideful and self-absorbed. Please read them prayerfully and remember as you read them that this is not a “me first” effort but a focus on areas in which you should choose to take personal accountability in your life. Remember—if you do not make these decisions for yourself, then you are inadvertently allowing others to make them for you. If you go to a restaurant and don’t place your order, you either will not get served or you may get something that you don’t want! Choosing what you want does not make you conceited; it gives you necessary boundaries. So swallow the idea that authentic responsibilities are shallow and prideful, and embrace personal responsibility.
  • Struggle sincerely. It is okay to struggle in these areas. I am not speaking as if I have mastered the art of each of these authentic responsibilities—in fact, I still struggle with many of them! There are plenty of days when I realize that I did not speak out my true feelings and caused others to guess, or I allowed someone else’s judgment of me to annoy me instead of refusing it. As with all growth, learning to take authentic responsibility is a process and a journey. Give yourself the grace to struggle with the ideas and actions that come along with accepting authentic responsibilities in your life.
  • Start somewhere. While you are struggling sincerely, seeing fourteen areas of authentic responsibility may be overwhelming. In addition, realizing the areas that you need to work on may be depressing! I remember feeling weighed down by the volume of areas and my need to work. But then I remembered to cut myself some slack, and I asked the Lord to show me where to begin. He did. He will do the same for you, if only you will ask. Take Him along on your journey and He will make sure that you continue the work He has started in you.

Are you ready to take on more authentic responsibilities for yourself? Let the journey begin!

What are your ideas about authentic responsibilities that each person should have? Share in the comments below or use my Contact Me page to send your ideas and/or schedule a 30-minute Identity Intensive!