A Topic of Responsibility

  • Christian Chat is a moderated online Christian community allowing Christians around the world to fellowship with each other in real time chat via webcam, voice, and text, with the Christian Chat app. You can also start or participate in a Bible-based discussion here in the Christian Chat Forums, where members can also share with each other their own videos, pictures, or favorite Christian music.

    If you are a Christian and need encouragement and fellowship, we're here for you! If you are not a Christian but interested in knowing more about Jesus our Lord, you're also welcome! Want to know what the Bible says, and how you can apply it to your life? Join us!

    To make new Christian friends now around the world, click here to join Christian Chat.
Mar 1, 2021
97
17
8
#1
A few months ago, I was told off by a former friend (who then terminated contact with me, probably the best thing for both of us) for various reasons, but... well, we were bad for each other's mental health anyway, and highly incompatible, plus we had genuinely grown apart.

However, one of the things she said to me stuck in my mind... that I don't take responsibility for my actions or emotions, (according to her, anyway) and that she holds no responsibility for anything I do.

She really did have a fair point, because she has enough mental issues of her own (and she doesn't need my own unchecked mental issues effecting her when she's struggling to make it on her own) and she already has a fulltime job with three children, a job in the making, and she's a part-time college student.

Nevertheless... I wanted to branch off from this a tad and, by extension, focus on one specific theme: Who is really responsible? Is there one-size-fits-all when it comes to holding someone accountable, or do you think it can legitimately vary from individual case to individual case?

I mean, look at it this way for a moment. There are at least SOME cases where even people in Christian circles have told me that I am sinning by holding onto a grudge, or staying mad at someone. I even had a preacher tell me to my face about a year ago, when I presented these issues to him, that I need to let things go because the Bible itself says that if I don't forgive, God won't forgive, etc etc. (Not denying this.)

But.... I also feel that it is a rather automatic response from Christians sometimes, perhaps a bit TOO automatic. Because.... what if, in some cases, if anyone bothered to get to know an individual and spend more time with them and learn how they tick, more about their background and environment, etc... you might learn that maybe, just maybe, the person is not necessarily SINNING (even if, yes, they could be) but it could ALSO be that they legitimately haven't learned how to work through issues with other people, or within themselves?

On the one hand, it just seems like there are a lot of Christians who, sometimes anyway, make a premature "diagnosis", mention a couple of Bible verses, and there ya go, you should be all fixed now and if you can't do as instructed, there's clearly something wrong with you or you're ignoring what was said... I guess? Like human beings aren't individual, but assembly line car models that just need a little tweaking.

But on the other hand... I can also understand that fellow adults, in an adult world, do not have the time or energy to take an emotionally stunted adult under their wing when they have enough to contend with in their own sphere. It reminds me somewhat of a story someone told me on Quora once, about how a young, barely-grown magpie refused to venture off on its own because it didn't have the confidence to hop down from the roof someone's backyard shed... and it kept hopping around with its mouth open, expecting its parents to come back and feed it, even though they were long gone. And the Quora person said, on the topic of children growing up, "Did this magpie expect some other adult magpie to come along and take pity on it, so it could remain in infancy forever?"

In answer.... that probably wouldn't happen, because those other magpies would be focused on raising their own children, a full time in of itself, and this young adult magpie should be focused on finding its own food and possibly finding a mate to replenish its species. (Or if it's that dumb... it might be doing its species a service to allow itself to starve to death to make room for healthier/brighter specimens....)

Of course that's not very nice. I mean... sometimes, there are some individuals who are just... slower at catching on. Sometimes it can be laziness, but... some just learn differently.

In the end though... Sometimes, I just wonder.... when push comes to shove, WHO is really responsible, if someone got left behind or failed to learn basic things for any number of reasons?

I mean, it seems like the easiest and quickest response most people give whenever someone isn't acting right in some way is to simply assume, "This person is sinning, I can fix this with a Bible verse" or "This person is a pest/isn't acting right/I'm tired of their behavior, DITCH TIME."

To some extent, I would say that it is an individual's personal responsibility to be aware of their actions, words, attitudes, and anything else that may effect others around them, negatively or otherwise. At the same time, it is the parents' responsibility to try and teach their children proper social skills, and even they can have their own limitations due to busy schedules and other issues.

But I guess I just wanted to present this question: How do you define responsibility? And can you really pass judgement on someone if they simply didn't have the same training as someone else, or if they have something else going on (including mental issues) where they are slower at learning?

Of course.... I am fully onboard with cutting someone out of your life if it just isn't working and if both parties are more toxic to each other than anything, or if one side shows they have no interest in improving. But at the same time... I just sometimes feel like, especially in our modern-day society... there are too many people out there who just look for "quick fixes" and don't have the time or patience to really deal with someone, work with that person, or understand them.
 

Deuteronomy

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2018
2,430
2,674
113
65
#2
There are at least SOME cases where even people in Christian circles have told me that I am sinning by holding onto a grudge, or staying mad at someone. I even had a preacher tell me to my face about a year ago, when I presented these issues to him, that I need to let things go because the Bible itself says that if I don't forgive, God won't forgive, etc etc. (Not denying this.)
Hello Lenoralana, if you "hold onto a grudge", then yes, you are sinning, so you need to repent and ask the Lord to forgive you. We may not like how others treat us at times, but we must never choose to hate them by harboring grudges/hatred against them when they mistreat us, because our hope is found in the Lord/He is our portion, not them (IOW, our self-worth is to be bound up in the Lord alone, never in the opinions of others). We can try to understand/feel sorry for them/pray for them, etc., and we should, but we must not harbor bitterness in our hearts against them.

What follows below is simply AMAZING, because it's a summation of the ~entirety~ of the (horizontal) laws and commandments in the OT stated in just half of a verse :) So, it's a verse that I try to remember because, as I know you know, dealing with other people can be extremely trying at times ;) So, no matter how badly someone have treated us in the past, and/or how badly he/she is treating us in the moment, we are commanded to treat others like we at least hope they would choose to treat us, whether they are or not (this includes how we treat them behind their backs BTW ;)).

Matthew 7
12 However you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.​

As far as actually forgiving people is concerned, did you tell the ones who sinned against you (who hurt you) that they had done so (to be sure that they know what they did and how it harmed you)? If you did, did they ask you for your forgiveness, and if they did that, did you .. forgive them)?

Here's what the Lord has to say about Biblical forgiveness (which has a wholly different purpose and endgame in mind than the type of solo/silent "forgiveness" that those in the world typically use it for). Here's what the Lord has to say to us about Biblical forgiveness, which always involves ~at least two people~, and is done for the sake of the one who sinned, even more than it is for ourselves.

Luke 17
3 If your brother sins, rebuke him; and ~if~ he repents, forgive him.
4 And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.

Here's a short, excellent article on forgiveness that you may find useful to listen to and/or to watch (it comes with a video that has the same text as the article, just FYI). Go here: https://www.gotquestions.org/withholding-forgiveness.html or just watch the video here.


There is more in your OP that I'd like to talk with you about, but this is long enough for now, so I'll wait for you to reply and see what you have to say before finishing the rest.

God bless you!

~Deut
 

JaumeJ

Senior Member
Jul 2, 2011
19,198
5,137
113
#3
A few months ago, I was told off by a former friend (who then terminated contact with me, probably the best thing for both of us) for various reasons, but... well, we were bad for each other's mental health anyway, and highly incompatible, plus we had genuinely grown apart.

However, one of the things she said to me stuck in my mind... that I don't take responsibility for my actions or emotions, (according to her, anyway) and that she holds no responsibility for anything I do.

She really did have a fair point, because she has enough mental issues of her own (and she doesn't need my own unchecked mental issues effecting her when she's struggling to make it on her own) and she already has a fulltime job with three children, a job in the making, and she's a part-time college student.

Nevertheless... I wanted to branch off from this a tad and, by extension, focus on one specific theme: Who is really responsible? Is there one-size-fits-all when it comes to holding someone accountable, or do you think it can legitimately vary from individual case to individual case?

I mean, look at it this way for a moment. There are at least SOME cases where even people in Christian circles have told me that I am sinning by holding onto a grudge, or staying mad at someone. I even had a preacher tell me to my face about a year ago, when I presented these issues to him, that I need to let things go because the Bible itself says that if I don't forgive, God won't forgive, etc etc. (Not denying this.)

But.... I also feel that it is a rather automatic response from Christians sometimes, perhaps a bit TOO automatic. Because.... what if, in some cases, if anyone bothered to get to know an individual and spend more time with them and learn how they tick, more about their background and environment, etc... you might learn that maybe, just maybe, the person is not necessarily SINNING (even if, yes, they could be) but it could ALSO be that they legitimately haven't learned how to work through issues with other people, or within themselves?

On the one hand, it just seems like there are a lot of Christians who, sometimes anyway, make a premature "diagnosis", mention a couple of Bible verses, and there ya go, you should be all fixed now and if you can't do as instructed, there's clearly something wrong with you or you're ignoring what was said... I guess? Like human beings aren't individual, but assembly line car models that just need a little tweaking.

But on the other hand... I can also understand that fellow adults, in an adult world, do not have the time or energy to take an emotionally stunted adult under their wing when they have enough to contend with in their own sphere. It reminds me somewhat of a story someone told me on Quora once, about how a young, barely-grown magpie refused to venture off on its own because it didn't have the confidence to hop down from the roof someone's backyard shed... and it kept hopping around with its mouth open, expecting its parents to come back and feed it, even though they were long gone. And the Quora person said, on the topic of children growing up, "Did this magpie expect some other adult magpie to come along and take pity on it, so it could remain in infancy forever?"

In answer.... that probably wouldn't happen, because those other magpies would be focused on raising their own children, a full time in of itself, and this young adult magpie should be focused on finding its own food and possibly finding a mate to replenish its species. (Or if it's that dumb... it might be doing its species a service to allow itself to starve to death to make room for healthier/brighter specimens....)

Of course that's not very nice. I mean... sometimes, there are some individuals who are just... slower at catching on. Sometimes it can be laziness, but... some just learn differently.

In the end though... Sometimes, I just wonder.... when push comes to shove, WHO is really responsible, if someone got left behind or failed to learn basic things for any number of reasons?

I mean, it seems like the easiest and quickest response most people give whenever someone isn't acting right in some way is to simply assume, "This person is sinning, I can fix this with a Bible verse" or "This person is a pest/isn't acting right/I'm tired of their behavior, DITCH TIME."

To some extent, I would say that it is an individual's personal responsibility to be aware of their actions, words, attitudes, and anything else that may effect others around them, negatively or otherwise. At the same time, it is the parents' responsibility to try and teach their children proper social skills, and even they can have their own limitations due to busy schedules and other issues.

But I guess I just wanted to present this question: How do you define responsibility? And can you really pass judgement on someone if they simply didn't have the same training as someone else, or if they have something else going on (including mental issues) where they are slower at learning?

Of course.... I am fully onboard with cutting someone out of your life if it just isn't working and if both parties are more toxic to each other than anything, or if one side shows they have no interest in improving. But at the same time... I just sometimes feel like, especially in our modern-day society... there are too many people out there who just look for "quick fixes" and don't have the time or patience to really deal with someone, work with that person, or understand them.
It is written to be angry but do not sin.
 

Deuteronomy

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2018
2,430
2,674
113
65
#4
It is written to be angry but do not sin.
That's true (y)(y), and the Apostle Paul further qualifies/limits that command by adding, "do not let the sun go down on your anger".

~Deut


Ephesians 4
26 BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger.
.
 

Deuteronomy

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2018
2,430
2,674
113
65
#5
Hello again @Lenoralana, I'm sorry about the typos in my first post (post #2) as I didn't catch them before the end of our 5 minute editing time (so there's nothing that I can do about them now, unfortunately).

If the typos make what I said difficult to understand, just let me know and I'll tell you what I was intending to say w/o the typos.

Sorry about that :oops:

~Deut
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
12,922
4,606
113
#6
who is responsible well, its your parents or guardians until you become an adult, which is usually around about age 13 or so, but legally, its 18.

If you are talking about your emotions, I would say anyone that hurt you in the past you need to forgive.

You dont go on holding grudges and then any new friends you make have to hear you talk about how you hate so and so, especially if they dont know them. Or even if they do know them.

If that person hurt you badly and didnt ask for your forgiveness, then you can walk away, you dont have to be around them anymore, or even think about them! Give the pain to the Lord to heal.
 

EnglishChick

Well-known member
Apr 20, 2021
621
323
63
39
England UK
#7
who is responsible well, its your parents or guardians until you become an adult, which is usually around about age 13 or so, but legally, its 18.

If you are talking about your emotions, I would say anyone that hurt you in the past you need to forgive.

You dont go on holding grudges and then any new friends you make have to hear you talk about how you hate so and so, especially if they dont know them. Or even if they do know them.

If that person hurt you badly and didnt ask for your forgiveness, then you can walk away, you dont have to be around them anymore, or even think about them! Give the pain to the Lord to heal.
My abusive father said he was sorry. So I forgave him but because he might do it again i did reduce contact with him

Biblically.you.don't have to have anyone in your life of you don't want them there but you must forgive from your heart

My Christian therapist advised me to go low contact.with abusive.people and I feel I have become a better person because of it
 

EnglishChick

Well-known member
Apr 20, 2021
621
323
63
39
England UK
#8
With abuse i feel forgiving from a.distance is sometimes the only.way

don't hate my.dad.anymore but I'd rather commit suicide than live.with him again. It.doesn't feel safe
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
12,922
4,606
113
#9
yes well I think in certain. situations where its not safe that is wise.
Your dad needs to learn that his actions hurt you and if they dont change for the better then you cant stay. and sometimes people take time to change.

Thank God we have a saviour. Jesus saves us over and over again. Pray for your dads salvation to stop the cycle. if you dont trust your dad you dont have a relationship.

but thats ok. You can just call him your old man, he doesnt have to be your dad if he really wasnt a dad.
God can always graft people back in when He wants.
 

Gideon300

Well-known member
Mar 18, 2021
1,700
1,161
113
#10
A few months ago, I was told off by a former friend (who then terminated contact with me, probably the best thing for both of us) for various reasons, but... well, we were bad for each other's mental health anyway, and highly incompatible, plus we had genuinely grown apart.

However, one of the things she said to me stuck in my mind... that I don't take responsibility for my actions or emotions, (according to her, anyway) and that she holds no responsibility for anything I do.

She really did have a fair point, because she has enough mental issues of her own (and she doesn't need my own unchecked mental issues effecting her when she's struggling to make it on her own) and she already has a fulltime job with three children, a job in the making, and she's a part-time college student.

Nevertheless... I wanted to branch off from this a tad and, by extension, focus on one specific theme: Who is really responsible? Is there one-size-fits-all when it comes to holding someone accountable, or do you think it can legitimately vary from individual case to individual case?

I mean, look at it this way for a moment. There are at least SOME cases where even people in Christian circles have told me that I am sinning by holding onto a grudge, or staying mad at someone. I even had a preacher tell me to my face about a year ago, when I presented these issues to him, that I need to let things go because the Bible itself says that if I don't forgive, God won't forgive, etc etc. (Not denying this.)

But.... I also feel that it is a rather automatic response from Christians sometimes, perhaps a bit TOO automatic. Because.... what if, in some cases, if anyone bothered to get to know an individual and spend more time with them and learn how they tick, more about their background and environment, etc... you might learn that maybe, just maybe, the person is not necessarily SINNING (even if, yes, they could be) but it could ALSO be that they legitimately haven't learned how to work through issues with other people, or within themselves?

On the one hand, it just seems like there are a lot of Christians who, sometimes anyway, make a premature "diagnosis", mention a couple of Bible verses, and there ya go, you should be all fixed now and if you can't do as instructed, there's clearly something wrong with you or you're ignoring what was said... I guess? Like human beings aren't individual, but assembly line car models that just need a little tweaking.

But on the other hand... I can also understand that fellow adults, in an adult world, do not have the time or energy to take an emotionally stunted adult under their wing when they have enough to contend with in their own sphere. It reminds me somewhat of a story someone told me on Quora once, about how a young, barely-grown magpie refused to venture off on its own because it didn't have the confidence to hop down from the roof someone's backyard shed... and it kept hopping around with its mouth open, expecting its parents to come back and feed it, even though they were long gone. And the Quora person said, on the topic of children growing up, "Did this magpie expect some other adult magpie to come along and take pity on it, so it could remain in infancy forever?"

In answer.... that probably wouldn't happen, because those other magpies would be focused on raising their own children, a full time in of itself, and this young adult magpie should be focused on finding its own food and possibly finding a mate to replenish its species. (Or if it's that dumb... it might be doing its species a service to allow itself to starve to death to make room for healthier/brighter specimens....)

Of course that's not very nice. I mean... sometimes, there are some individuals who are just... slower at catching on. Sometimes it can be laziness, but... some just learn differently.

In the end though... Sometimes, I just wonder.... when push comes to shove, WHO is really responsible, if someone got left behind or failed to learn basic things for any number of reasons?

I mean, it seems like the easiest and quickest response most people give whenever someone isn't acting right in some way is to simply assume, "This person is sinning, I can fix this with a Bible verse" or "This person is a pest/isn't acting right/I'm tired of their behavior, DITCH TIME."

To some extent, I would say that it is an individual's personal responsibility to be aware of their actions, words, attitudes, and anything else that may effect others around them, negatively or otherwise. At the same time, it is the parents' responsibility to try and teach their children proper social skills, and even they can have their own limitations due to busy schedules and other issues.

But I guess I just wanted to present this question: How do you define responsibility? And can you really pass judgement on someone if they simply didn't have the same training as someone else, or if they have something else going on (including mental issues) where they are slower at learning?

Of course.... I am fully onboard with cutting someone out of your life if it just isn't working and if both parties are more toxic to each other than anything, or if one side shows they have no interest in improving. But at the same time... I just sometimes feel like, especially in our modern-day society... there are too many people out there who just look for "quick fixes" and don't have the time or patience to really deal with someone, work with that person, or understand them.
The easy way is rarely the right way. Two Christians should always seek reconciliation - Philippians 4:2 & 3

"I urge Euodia and Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, my true yokefellow, to help these women who have labored with me for the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life."

Unforgiveness is a blight and leads to all kinds of health and mental problems, as well as disfavour with God. The problem is also that few preachers can tell you how to forgive. This article will help you enormously: https://www.christianlife.org.au/can-you-forgive-from-your-heart
 
M

MoonCresta

Guest
#11
Lenoralana - yes, what the others here have said is true. Grudges, unforgiveness hurts no one but you. Not anyone else, just you - and it helps nothing.

Interestingly enough today, I was reading online about the father of Timothy McVeigh (Oklahoma City bomber) and how he was helped with living after the bombing by communicating with the father of a daughter killed in the explosion. The bereaved man sought Mr. McVeigh out and communicated with him to the point of friendship and still does. The article I read doesn't say this, but I suspect that the man's work with Mr. McVeigh was initially for his own benefit of forgiveness and letting go of the past, but it went on to help Timothy's father live his life as well.

God bless you and please keep leaning on him as you go through your journey of life. (which none of us are A'cing by the way!)
 

EnglishChick

Well-known member
Apr 20, 2021
621
323
63
39
England UK
#12
Lenoralana - yes, what the others here have said is true. Grudges, unforgiveness hurts no one but you. Not anyone else, just you - and it helps nothing.

Interestingly enough today, I was reading online about the father of Timothy McVeigh (Oklahoma City bomber) and how he was helped with living after the bombing by communicating with the father of a daughter killed in the explosion. The bereaved man sought Mr. McVeigh out and communicated with him to the point of friendship and still does. The article I read doesn't say this, but I suspect that the man's work with Mr. McVeigh was initially for his own benefit of forgiveness and letting go of the past, but it went on to help Timothy's father live his life as well.

God bless you and please keep leaning on him as you go through your journey of life. (which none of us are A'cing by the way!)
What a lovely story