Pastor's Corner: Passing the buck

Friday, November 2, 2012

Genesis 4:7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it. (NIV)

When I arrived at my first permanent duty station, I noticed an extremely large building (a cube) upon which were fastened huge letters spelling P.R.I.D.E. I soon learned that it was the building in which I would spend countless hours over the next five years as it housed the 5th Bomb Wing, the 23rd Bomb Squadron, most of the support systems and the command post. The first question my squadron commander asked was, "Do you know what P.R.I.D.E. stands for?" I said that perhaps it was to encourage loyalty to the unit. The colonel replied, "What we want is loyalty to our country. It stands for Personal Responsibility in Daily Effort. We are all responsible to insure quality assurance."

How foreign that is to our human makeup. The response of our first ancestors to the "why did you" question was to blame somebody else. Our default position is, "it's not my fault." Try that one out if a law enforcement officer stops you for an infraction. There are rules, and ignorance of the rules is no excuse.

Ezekiel 18:20 The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him. (NIV)

Sometimes in passing the buck we try to argue that we were just innocent bystanders. God said that we will not be held accountable for wrong not associated with us, but Scripture is careful to say that, even though we are not guilty of direct commission or omission, we will be held accountable for complicity. Think of Aaron trying to argue that it was the people who "forced" him to make the golden calf. Under our laws, if you are a participant in a crime (even in a minor role) you are guilty of any of the acts committed during the crime. In the Air Force, if any crewmember erred and the other five were aware of it, the whole crew was held accountable.

Do we avoid responsibility? Do we argue ignorance? Do we pass the buck? Do we deny association? If God told us what is right and we don't do it, or if we let or assist someone else in do what God has condemned, we will be held accountable.

In what area does this apply? In all areas--in our families, our workplaces, our congregations; in our homes, in stores and restaurants and, in the voting booth. Every part of our life is accountable to God who loves us but will call us to account.

Oswald Chambers wrote a book called, "My Utmost For His Highest." God loves us so much that He gave us the very best. Wherever you go, whatever you do, resolve to give God your very best. Don't pass the buck, rather, strive to hear those words, "Well done my good and faithful servant."