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Tag Archives: responsibility

Oops I Have Done It Again

In the earliest days on earth, God provided Adam and Eve with a vast amount of freedom. The passage below states Adam’s daily responsibility in the Garden of Eden. There wasn’t a long list of to do’s and dont’s. Rather, God limits the rules to one: do not eat from the tree of knowledge. With the boundary line between right and wrong clearly set, only one tree and it’s fruit was off limits. This couple didn’t have to guess what the right thing to do was nor could they claim to be amoral, not knowing right from wrong.

And the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and guard and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and blessing and calamity you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die, Genesis 2:15-17.

When Eve flirted with Lucifer, a serpent in disguise, a seed of doubt was conceived within her mind. The longer this conversation continued, enticement and lust for this forbidden fruit grew. Despite standing right there next to his wife, Adam was complicit, serving as a curious bystander. This joint act of disobedient forced God to introduce a new set of laws via the Torah to combat original sin. While God was willing to forgive this transgression, punishment is handed out for each guilty party in Genesis 3.

Now there was a day when the sons (the angels) of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan (the adversary and accuser) also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, From where did you come? Then Satan answered the Lord, From going to and fro on the earth and from walking up and down on it. And the Lord said to Satan, Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who [reverently] fears God and abstains from and shuns evil [because it is wrong]?-Job 1:6-8

While Genesis is the first book of the Bible, Job is the oldest book. Comments made in chapters 40-41, suggest that Job was living in a land of dinosaurs. If this is true, that would mean Job lived prior to the flood detailed in Genesis 6:17. Job doesn’t refer to Satan as a snake. Rather, Lucifer is a fallen angel who has retained his supernatural powers. Like a spiritual lion seeking to pounce on weak minded individuals, this fact is not to be taken likely. If you disregard or ignore this information, you may find yourself ensnared by sin, stuck in pitiful addicted state. Instead of saying “oops I have done it again,” make sure repentance results in acts of contrition. May this blog inspire you to focus on spiritual transformation.

by Jay Mankus

Attitude is Everything

As a child, I remember hearing teachers address specific individuals during class, taking time outside of their scheduled lesson plan.  In the form of an exhortation or rebuke, growing concerns were verbalized.  Subsequently, whenever a student was out of line, the adult in the room proclaimed, “my child you need an attitude adjustment.”

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, Philippians 2:14.

Today, attitudes are displayed through one’s feelings, postures and stances taken.  If you listen to someone’s comments, its easy to ascertain the good attitudes from the bad ones.  Unfortunately, the Me first movement in this age is poisoning souls.  Thus, the selfish will whisper under their breath, “I’ll show them,” turning to revenge over repentance.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things, Philippians 4:8.

As a lack of responsibility is passed down from this current generation to the next, excuses override the truth.  Instead of receiving a harsh talking to or a spanking, parents often ruin life’s teachable moments blaming the critic rather than their child.  It’s no wonder that coaches and teachers are fighting a losing battle.  Attitude is everything, but if maturity isn’t taught to young people, parents will continue to justify and rationalize wrong behavior.

by Jay Mankus

You Can’t Give What You Don’t Have

The term authority refers to a variety of things depending upon the context.  Authority can mean jurisdiction, permission to act or delegated responsibility.  In biblical terms, authority defines leadership, enabling an individual or group to have the power to make vital decisions.  However, with obtaining this status, you can’t give what you don’t have.

In which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient, Ephesians 2:2.

Following Creation, God gave Adam authority over the Garden of Eden and the animals within.  After Eve convinced Adam to sin by disobeying God’s lone rule, the Lord kicked them out, losing the authority they once possessed.  This loss was Satan’s gain, obtaining rule over the air.  While the names have changed, the Devil continues to encourage the disenchanted to give into temptation, walking in disobedience.

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me,” Matthew 28:18.

According to the gospel, Jesus came to earth to seek and save that which was lost.  Thus, authority can be regained through Jesus.  However, unless you have entered into a personal relationship with Jesus, biblical authority is useless.  On the other hand, when the words of the Bible become your guide to life, authority can be unleashed through prayer.  Therefore, before you take God for granted, make sure you understand what you’re asking for.

by Jay Mankus

 

An Accomplice to Sin

If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them, James 4:17.

Who me?  I didn’t do anything wrong.  No really officer, “I was just following trying to keep pace with traffic.”  Whenever individuals resort to justifying their actions, they are usually an accomplice to sin.

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, Genesis 3:6.

Although Eve is the main character during the fall known as original sin, she did have a partner in crime.  Hidden from plain view, Adam overheard the serpent tempting his wife without intervening.  Perhaps he was watching Sports Center, checking out his fantasy team or merely pretending to listen to Eve.  Either way, Adam was an accomplice to the first sin on earth.

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned, Romans 5:12.

According to the apostle Paul, Adam is the main culprit on earth’s first scandal.  Since God clearly spelled out the boundaries to Adam in Genesis 2:16-17, it was his responsibility to pass this information on to his wife as uphold this rule.  Today, anyone who has read the Bible, heard the gospel or is introduced to biblical truths can’t claim ignorance.  As one of Jesus’ disciples once wrote, if you know what to do or not to do and don’t heed the Lord’s principles then you too are an accomplice to sin.

by Jay Mankus

 

Self-Respect or Victimology

While working out last week at a local fitness center, I couldn’t help but over hear a serious conversation.  Discussing the recent Grand Jury verdict of Darren Wilson, each had a different perspective.  The woman spoke about the importance of having self-respect.  Meanwhile, the man played the victim, blaming the police and slavery for his woes.

Although I don’t have the clout of a minority, my father is an immigrant to this country.  Starting from scratch in upstate New York, excuses weren’t in his vocabulary.  Pushed by his mother, my dad earned his way into an Ivy League College and the Warner School of Business.  My father is living proof that if you develop discipline, self-respect and work hard, anything is possible.

On the other side of the spectrum, are those who play the victim card.  Adam and Eve emulated this endless circle after getting caught red handed with a half-eaten apple.  According to Moses, Adam blamed Eve, indirectly throwing God under the bus, “the woman you put me here with,” Genesis 3:12.  Not willing to take the fall, Eve redirected sole responsibility to the serpent, “he deceived me,” Genesis 3:13.  Subsequently, a generation of victims has been born.

Today, socioeconomics often play a vital role in the worldview you hold.  However, that doesn’t mean individuals can’t have a dream of a better life.  Although many fail, self-respect is a foundation for keeping hope alive.  Self-pity doesn’t solve any problems, its only an excuse to be held down by negativity.  Therefore, if you want to experience a slice of heaven on earth, turn in your victim card for faith in the Lord, Psalm 115:11.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Don’t Be So Koi; Unleash Your Potential

Koi fish, also known as nishikigoi in Japan, are domesticated carp kept for decorative purposes, usually in water gardens.  However, koi have an unique characteristic, growing only as large as their environment allows.  Thus, if you have a small fish tank, their size will be stunted to a few inches.  When given the opportunity, koi can grow to nearly 4 feet in size, but only in the right conditions like a large pond or lake.

In life, many individuals are afraid of the unknown, the areas beyond their comfort zones.  Subsequently, most people limit their potential, scared to take a chance or risk embarrassment outside in the big sea.  Instead of blossoming, souls tend to settle for mediocre lives, secure in the safety of their normal surroundings.  Unfortunately, this is not the plan God called his disciples to follow, Mark 16:15-18.

Today, Christians leave this responsibility for pastors, preachers and teachers, excluding themselves from Jesus’ command.  Although the harvest is still ripe for the picking, Matthew 9:35-38, the sidelines are flooded, me included, with believers too self-absorbed with life to get into the game.  In view of this unsettling truth, break away from patterns of idleness.  Don’t be so koi; rather unleash your potential by fanning into flame the gifts you have t offer, Romans 12:3-8.

by Jay Mankus

There is No One Else to Blame

Sometimes, if you don’t succeed initially, the second time you attempt it is a charm.  Such is the case for Howard Jones, whose rerecording of the song No One is to Blame produced by Phil Collins peaked at #4 of the Billboard Hot 100.  If failure causes you to quit prematurely on any goal or task, there is no one else to blame but yourself.

Despite this reality, people are still following in the footsteps of Adam, looking for someone to be the scapegoat.  “Surely its someone else, not me,” brushing off responsibility by passing the buck to God and his wife, Genesis 3:12.  Subsequently, lame excuses linger, grasping at straws to point the blame in another direction.

In the end, there is no escape clause as the Bible is clear, Romans 1:18-20.  Between sunrise and sunset, God’s invisible qualities are on display.  Thus, the onus is on you, to take ownership of the choices you make.  Therefore, the next time you make a mistake, don’t look around to pass judgment for there is no one else to blame.

by Jay Mankus

Enjoying the Moment

Fifteen years ago this month, I became a first time father.  When you leave the hospital together, there are many firsts: outfit, crib, binky, blanket and so on.  Some where along the way, time seems to speed up, as parents lose track of days, weeks, months and even years trying to keep up with their growing children.  Two children later, I have forgotten to enjoy each and every moment with my wife and kids.

Part of adulthood is taking on more responsibility, working harder than ever to feed ever increasing appetites.  Often, this results in parents missing a game, concert or memorable moment in the lives of your children.  This double edged sword cuts to the heart, leaving a family starving at the dinner table or void of the happiness of time well spent together.  Though opinions vary, the days between birth and graduation are valuable, with opportunities to shape and train your child in the way they should go, Proverbs 22:6.

With this in mind, I am wrestling between 2 destinies, one of wealth and the other, regret.  Now I know what the apostle Paul meant by his words in Philippians 3:20-21.  As a citizen bound for heaven, the rat race of life has carved a hole in my heart, tired of the superficial aspects on life on earth.  Yet, on the flip side, I need to have the mindset of James 4:13-14.  Before the sun sets on this day, evaporating time, I am going to be still, Psalm 46:10, enjoying the moments while I am still a resident on earth.

by Jay Mankus

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