3 Mentalities That Destroy Our Ability to Take Responsibility
If I were to ask today, "What's your greatest ability?" I wonder what some of us would say. We might say, “I'm good at mechanics ... math ... sewing ... surfing ... channel surfing.” But I want to suggest to you that our greatest ability is responsibility.
Responsibility is the ability to respond to life. It's one of the greatest gifts that God has given us. God created us and made us human beings. What makes us human is the ability to choose our response to life. We can respond in many different ways to stress, problems, crises, opportunities, relationships. It's all our choice.
Most of our life is out of our control. We don't choose a lot of the circumstances and events that happen to us, but we do have the freedom to choose how we react to life. We do have the freedom to choose how we respond. We're responsible for how we choose to react.
It's very obvious that in the last 50-60 years there's been a dramatic decline in the acceptance of personal responsibility in our society. Nobody wants to accept responsibility for anything anymore. In fact, we want to accuse and excuse. We live in this blaming and accusing and excusing society where nobody wants to own up to anything. What causes that? What's happened in our society?
There are three values that are very prevalent today. Three mentalities that are the antithesis of personal responsibility: The "rights" mentality, the "victim" mentality, the "entitlement" mentality.
1. The Rights Mentality
The rights mentality basically goes like this: "I have my rights! and that's all I'm interested in." Would you agree that today our society is obsessed with personal rights? We hear a lot today about rights, and we don't hear very much about responsibilities. We hear a lot about myself, but we don't hear a lot about what it does to other people.
2. The Victim Mentality
The second is what I call the victim mentality. The victim mentality basically goes like this. "None of my problems are my fault. In fact, they're all your fault." We blame. We are a nation of victims. None of it is my fault. It's everybody else's fault.
3. The Entitlement Mentality
Then comes the third antithesis to personal responsibility. That's the "entitlement" mentality. The entitlement mentality basically says, “I deserve it. The world owes me a living.” That's the kind of world we live in that says, "I'm not responsible for anything. It's not my fault."
The key to living a more responsible life is to figure out "Why am I here? What did God put me on this earth for?" The first thing we have to deal with is, "Why should I live a responsible life?"