September 2

Written by Bill Grandi on September 2nd, 2019

My title for this devotion is Placing Blame or Taking Responsibility.

One of the escapes of many people is placing blame. The idea of taking responsibility for their sin, their mistakes, or ever their job is not on their radar. It seems to be much more “reasonable” to place blame than to take responsibility.

This came to me as I reflected on today’s meaning (Labor Day) and as I read Nehemiah 1-2. Hang in there with me as I make the connection. Nehemiah sees taking responsibility as a very serious thing in two ways:

  1. In Nehemiah 1 he hears about the broken down walls in his hometown (Jerusalem) and immediately prays. He first praises God then asks him to listen. But what struck me was the end of verse 6. As he asks forgiveness for the sins of the people, all of a sudden he says, “Even I and my father’s house have sinned.” That seems strangely familiar to Isaiah’s words in Isaiah 6.
  2. The second, and different, area of taking responsibility is in chapter 2. Given leave of his job as cupbearer by the king, Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem where he inspected the walls at night and “rallied the troops” to take on the job of rebuilding the walls. These words are jewels: “Come, let us rebuild the walls of Jerusalem that we may not suffer derision.” (2:17). Notice the use of the words “us/we” in that statement. Their response had to be music to Nehemiah’s ears: “Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for the good work.” (2:18b)

Nehemiah could have stayed in his cush job as the king’s cupbearer.  Instead he took responsibility-for both his sins and for rebuilding the walls. It is way too easy and way too common to pass the buck onto others. Taking responsibility is the real way to go-for sin and for doing what needs done.

“Help me, Father, to be one who takes responsibility for my sin. Blaming someone else as the cause or pointing a finger at someone is not the way of the Christ-follower. Nor is letting things go so someone else can do it. Help me to take responsibility where I need to.”


Even though Jo and I leave later this afternoon for our trip to Alaska, I wanted to post this morning. I also hope you will tune into this blog each day as I left you a special message. Have a great week! Thanks for reading.


2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Taking responsibility for our actions (and perhaps, inaction) is so crucial for spiritual growth. Loved that you featured Nehemiah here – his resolve to rebuild the Jerusalem walls is nothing short of inspirational.
    Blessings, and enjoy the trip, Bill!

  2. floyd says:

    When I was a kid it was a common thing to stand up and take responsibility for your actions. It was important to be a person of character… but yes, times have changed.

    I still try to not see myself through rose colored glasses. When it’s on me or my fault I’ll be the first one to own it… funny how it encourages others to do the same.

    Good one and reminder.