​Dancing with Responsibility

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17 (NIV)

I like to dance.

Now, I’m not talking about your “get down tonight” kind of dancing. No, I am talking about being so light in my spirit that I dance through the house a little. Do you know what I mean? The freedom of Spirit to do a little dance….

As our Pickens County Service Center works with neighbors in crisis, I have noticed a common idea that robs many of our clients (and people in general) of freedom. We resist personal responsibility and create avoidable crisis.

I listen to our neighbors talk about wanting to live freely, without burden. Some see living responsibly as a restriction, trapping them in some way or robbing them of fun. Many resist accepting personal responsibility on the front end. The world sells them the lie that there is a short cut or an unearned prize waiting for them.

Many don’t understand how an irresponsible life ultimately produces consequences that trap them in a pattern of despair. They don’t see how their choices produce confinement and chain them to far-reaching negative consequences. These irresponsible choices trap them in a cycle of poverty.

In my experience, life gives you some good times and some bad times. But I have learned my choices can produce additional negative consequences on top of life’s struggles. I have also realized my choices can produce guilt, shame, loss of dignity and low self-esteem. So not only am I trapped by my choices, but I create more constraints produced by not accepting personal responsibility initially.

As neighbors arrive at our doors for assistance, we share the need for responsibility. Living responsibly frees us from these additional burdens. We want to empower our neighbors to minimize their struggles as much as possible, so they can be light in Spirit and have strength to grow. As we sacrifice the immediate gratification of today, we avoid the inevitable crisis of tomorrow. God empowers us to live responsibly through both good and bad days.

Living responsibly is not a model that takes away our fun; it is the pathway to freedom, self-worth and worship! These positive consequences give the seasons of life purpose as we grow. Ultimately, responsibility gives us the freedom to dance!

By accepting personal responsibility and strengthening our character, we can more easily weather the inevitable storms in our lives.

Responsibility lightens our burdens, increases our joy and strengthens our resolve. Responsibility produces freedom. Freedom leads to dancing… and I like to dance!

To God be the glory.

Yours in Christ,

Jim Abbott

Service Center Director, The Salvation Army of Pickens County

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