This column by the late Executive Editor ofCHRISTIANITY TODAYis reprinted from the November 8,1963, issue.
One of the many fine things in the old Chinese culture was the sense of responsibility. “This thing [or matter] is on your body” means, “The responsibility is yours and you will be held accountable”—and it worked.
There were times, of course, when this acceptance of full responsibility stemmed from fear, while in many instances “face” may have been the motivating factor—the one appealed to felt a sense of pride in being so trusted. On the other hand, it often came from a deep sense of loyalty.
Man’s responsibility to God is a real and abiding precept of the Christian faith, but even the practicing Christian often fails to realize how strong and persuasive this responsibility is.
We are prone to think our conduct is a matter of option, choice, personal decision, when in fact the question is one of direct personal responsibility to God and therefore can be determined only in the light of God’s revealed will.
The Ten Commandments are God’s moral and spiritual laws in two areas—man’s responsibility to God and to his fellow man. Our Lord summed them up in one word: “love,” toward God and toward our brothers. Most Christians will acknowledge this principle in theory, but they often fail in practice.
Responsibility is not merely a matter of making a Christian profession, after which we live in a spiritual vacuum, set apart from God as far as daily obligations are concerned. The fact is that every day should be lived in the light of our responsibility to God—every act, decision, thought, and motive should come under this concept.
Once we recognize this and act upon it, we are well on the way to achieving inner peace and outward effectiveness. ...1
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