Rom. 14:12 “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”
2Cor. 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”
Everyone has the responsibility to behave obediently toward God. We’ll all be held accountable for our own behavior. Others might influence us for good or bad, but ultimately – at Judgment – we’ll stand before Christ to give an account for our own life.
There is another aspect of individual responsibility that I’d like to point out – the obligation to take care of oneself. We have a duty to put our own spiritual welfare first.
In a monotone voice the flight attendant utters these words: “In the case of a loss of cabin pressure oxygen masks will drop from the overhead compartment. Those traveling with small children should put on their own mask first, then place a mask on the child.” Some of us have heard that announcement so many times we’re numb to hearing it. The point is clear though – take care of yourself first so you can help the child traveling with you.
A lesson about hypocrisy also teaches us that if we would be helpful to others spiritually, then we’d better take care of our own spiritual situation.
Matt. 7:3-5 “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”
I often see people who get involved in helping somebody else when they need more help themselves – a person who works to find a job for somebody else, when they have no job; a person who has debt problems trying to help somebody else escape debt; or a person with their own weight problem helping somebody else lose weight. In short, it’s seen in the countless times people neglect their own needs as they focus on the needs of others.
I’m not talking about failing to help others. I’m not talking about ignoring the needs of others. I am talking about successfully focusing on our own spiritual needs so we can be of good service to others.
Watch out for yourself spiritually. Obey the gospel in your own life. Be responsible for your own life. Protect your own steadfastness.
2Pet. 3:17 “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.”