Earlier this week, while out for her morning run, my wife was attacked by a dog and yes, it was a pit bull. The owner was walking two pit bulls, had her ear buds in and face down looking at her phone, oblivious to her surroundings.
When she got home and told me what happened I immediately had a rush of reactions: concern for her health and safety, anger (at the owner more than the dog), guilt (I should have been there to protect her), and confusion as to what to do next. She did go to the ER and got some antibiotics, prayers for her continued healing are greatly appreciated!
As I decided to write about this event this week, I was not sure where I wanted to go with it. I do not want to get into the debate of whether pit bulls or other breeds should be allowed or not. My thought process led me to think about the concept of personal responsibility.
I often hear that the “government should do this or that” or the “police should do this or that” or “parents should do this or that”. What I do not hear as often as I would like is “I should do this or that”. It is called personal responsibility!
Had the owner taken personal responsibility of her dogs instead of being self-indulged, my wife would not have been attacked. If gun owners take personal responsibility, accidental shootings would be non-existent. If people who enjoy an adult beverage take personal responsibility, there would be no DUI’s. If parents take personal responsibility issues with children would be greatly reduced. If elected officials take personal responsibility many of our society’s issues would go away. Etcetera, etcetera.
Ezekiel 18:20 gives us an eternal perspective of personal responsibility. “The person who sins will die The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.” We are accountable for our own actions and do not get to blame others for our short comings. We also do not have to be held captive by them—I believe God is more interested in how we respond to our sin than He is in the actual sin. And as a few men who might be reading this will understand, I have pledged “No More Excuses” and to take personal responsibility.