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- Jacob Ninan
Suppose God were to ask us, "Why did you get angry with John?" our reply may be, "Because he did this or said that to me." We may expand it further by saying, "I wouldn't have got angry if John hadn't done or said that." What we are essentially saying is that John is responsible for our behaviour. But think of it this way. When John did or said something to us, couldn't we have have responded in mercy, kindness, calmness, etc? But we chose to respond in anger, didn't we, even though we were not aware that we were making a choice?
Each of us has to give an account of ourselves to God when we stand before Him one day (Ro.14:12). We can't give explanations like the one above and try to justify our behaviour. Even every word we have spoken has to be accounted for (Mt.12:36). We are responsible for our own behaviour.
It is the man who recognises this responsibility and is careful about how he lives who becomes a mature man. He knows where he wants to go, and he is directing all his actions, including his words, to take him further towards that goal.
But what is our usual tendency? To be reactive rather than proactive. In other words we let other people and circumstances dictate our behaviour. There are several lies that we believe if we do this.
The ability to choose is a precious faculty God has created us with. We have the opportunity to learn to make better choices each day than we have done earlier by improving our understanding of God, man, ourselves, life, future, etc., by reading God's word and through fellowship with God and man. We have even opportunities to get out of wrong behaviour patterns we have got into in the past when we learn where they will lead to and think of where we really want to go. Isn't this a part of repentance? Let our repentance not be superficial where we just say that we are sorry for our sins. Let us also choose to behave differently in the future (2Co.7:9-11).