Creflo Dollar - Taking Ownership And Responsibility
We've been talking about emotional maturity, and last week we spent some time dealing with the first sign of emotional maturity, and that was learning how to be flexible. Just simply learning that when plan A doesn't work, there's a plan B and we talked about stuff there. But I wanna move on to the second sign of emotional maturity, and tonight we're gonna spend our time talking about taking ownership and responsibility. Taking ownership and responsibility. You see, I've learned that if you can't dance, you can't blame the floor. And that's just what a lot of times people do. And so, uh, you know, what is this all about? And what does this have to do, where emotional maturity is concerned?
An emotionally mature person is able to own up to their own mistakes and not immediately look to blame other people. You've heard Taffi and I mention the blame game. When you spend time in the... if the first thing you do is blame somebody else and not owning your own stuff and not taking responsibility for your own stuff, when you can quickly blame somebody else, that means you haven't accepted responsibility for the part that you played in that. People that do that are emotionally immature. People that play the blame game are emotionally immature. And you can evaluate your emotional maturity by checking out whether or not you're taking ownership and whether or not you're taking responsibility for things that happen in your life.
So, this takes a level of honesty, self-honesty and it takes a level of acceptance. So, if things keep on going wrong, an emotionally mature person will look inwards for answers as to what thoughts or actions may be contributing to the situation and works towards, an emotionally mature person will work towards a better understanding and a course of action moving forward. So, when you're emotionally mature, then you know, not only are you not gonna play the blame game, but you're gonna own it, you're gonna take responsibility for it and you look forward to moving forward and coming up with something that's better. So, taking ownership, taking ownership and responsibility is what we're gonna look at tonight. And this is gonna really challenge you tonight.
If you have the Bible, go to Galatians chapter 6, verse 5 through 10 in the NLT. Let's look at a couple of scriptures here. How do I take ownership of my life? How do I take responsibility for my life? Well, responsibility, you might wanna write this down, responsibility equals accountability. And accountability equals ownership. So, it's responsibility then accountability and then ownership. So, the question that you've gotta ask yourself, will I take responsibility? Will I become accountable for things in my life? I mean, like I said before, it's easy to blamer the floor for you not being able to dance, but you all know that it's not the floor's fault. And how many of you know you don't need new tennis shoes to be a good tennis player, you know?
You've got to take the responsibility, which will equal accountability, and then that accountability will bring you to ownership and a sense of ownership is the most powerful weapon that you can have. It's not being afraid to accept ownership and responsibility and accountability. No, that'll get you promotion. I mean, it's the person that refuses to do that, the guy that plays the blame game all the time is, you know, on the job they look down at you like, you know, why won't the guy accept responsibility for his actions? In a relationship, why don't that particular person's accept responsibility for their action? I find that as a leader, I have no problem getting in the pulpit and accepting responsibility and owning stuff that I've missed.
I don't have any problem with that, but the number of leaders that just won't do that because they see it as, "Oh, I look inferior or I look small". No, when you learn how to take ownership of things, in the eyes of most people, you're gonna look better in their eyes and not worse in their eyes, okay? So, once people stop making excuses, once people stop blaming others and take ownership of everything in their lives, what happens is we take actions to then solve those problems and the opposite is true. When you don't work towards ownership and owning your stuff, the problem stays, it just stays. Just look at areas in your life where you haven't accepted responsibility, everything stays, uh, nothing changes because you've not accepted responsibility for those situations.
It is your responsibility to make you think and make you react in certain situations. That's you. It does not mean that everything that happens to you is your fault, that's not what I'm saying. But you must set boundaries for others. But that is your job, it's your job. It's my job to make it clear, all right? It's not somebody else's job to try to figure out that, you know, Taffi a while back talked about setting boundaries and how important that is and that is your responsibility. You must set boundaries for others, and you must make it clear. It's about constantly thinking, what can I do to improve? Instead of thinking the other person's stupid or something's wrong with them.
What can I do to improve? I mean these are basic truths that'll work in the workplace, they'll work in the family, they'll work in a lot of places, but I don't understand why this isn't more a part of the Christian character than even in the workplace. You see some of these things more in the workplace than you do with Christian character. And we need to own up to it, we need to check out what we're doing. Let's look at this, Galatians 6 and 5 he says, "For we are each responsible for our own conduct". We are each responsible for our own conduct.
You know what Christian people like to do? "That was the Devil," and the devil was 'sleep or eating popcorn, watching a movie and, you know, own it, own your conduct, don't be so quick to blame it on the devil, okay? "For we are each responsible for our own conduct. Those who are taught the Word of God, should provide for their teachers sharing all good things with them. Don't be misled, you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. For those who live to please, the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit".
These are all your responsibilities. Jesus, through his grace, has set us free from a lot of things but we still have responsibility where life is concerned, we still have to respond to life. This is something that's just in my head a lot, this thing called life and time. And I just believe that they're there for a reason, okay? But, you know, he says, "You're responsible for that. So, let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing, if we don't give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone, especially those in the family of faith," that is our responsibility to respond that way. That is our responsibility to do that.
Now, let me show you something real quick about the blame game, Genesis chapter 3. And verse 11 through 12, I'll read it in the NLT, Genesis chapter 3: 11 and 12. You remember when Adam and Eve in the garden, God shows up and he's like, "What's going on here"? And the first thing Adam does is blame the woman, okay? He would not accept responsibility for the part he played. Nothing would change. Now I wanna make this point to you tonight. I believe had Adam owned it, had he owned his part, had he accepted responsibility for the part that he played, I don't think we'd be where we are right now, today. I think just by doing that, things would have changed because he did that.
Notice, he said, "Who told you that you were naked"? The Lord God asked, "Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat"? The man replied, "It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit and I ate it". So, remember, when a person is so quick to blame, nothing's changed because he's not accepted responsibility or ownership of the part that he played, so, everything's the same. So, take this and look at your own life: every time you blame somebody else, instead of looking, you know and like I said, you're... I'm not saying that you're... that it's your fault for everything, but with everything in life, locate the part you play and ask God to help you to change that; that would avoid a lot of arguments.
But when you feel like you're under attack, I could really get, you know, pretty therapeutical about why people respond like that, a knee jerk response, which I may mention in a minute, but we, as Christian people, it's hard to get the truth from Christians. It's something wrong when you ask one Christian something and then you got to get another Christian and therefore you can get to the truth. And they just think it's their perspective. No, it's still what the Bible calls it: a lie, amen? So be responsible for yourself, accept responsibility for your actions, be accountable for your results. I'm telling you, this is good preaching. You know it's not Holy Ghost jerking and stuff, but I'm looking for.
Christians to start walking with better godly character. Be accountable for your results, take ownership of your mistakes, okay? Now here's something that I think you need to hear because life is progressive, all right? What was that Carol just said? Carol Jones just said, "People have life but they're not living". Isn't that good? A lot of people, they have life, but they're not living. We gotta learn how to live. It's okay to fail, it's okay to make mistakes, nobody is perfect dude, have you figured that out yet, right? And only by failing and making mistakes can you learn and get better. That's life, by failing and making mistakes, you learn and you get better, that's life, that's life. But we get this weird thing when we come, in Christianity where, you know, you get condemned for learning and making mistakes and failing.
Some of my greatest growth in my life comes when I made a mistake or when I failed or, yeah, I can grow from that. But the dude that goes around, "Oh, I never fail, I never make a mistake". First of all, there you go, you're lying again and secondly, you're not allowing life and you to come together to cause maturity, to grow in your life, amen? I had a man to say to me other day, I've known him for almost 40 years. And he said, "I wanna apologize to you". He said, "Forty years ago, I didn't know this, but as an old man, you know at 70 something years old, I now know," and I'm like people grow. Let life, life like, it's gonna be interesting to see this.
I wonder if our spirit man in this physical body, in this life, in time has something to do with shaping us for eternity. I don't know, I just, I don't see God just... You know, you got one shot at this folks, do it right. Do it right. Stop listening to all of this weird stuff that's going on in the world today. And while you have life, live it. Ya'll, it was such a beautiful day on Monday and I just like man, I can't. I gotta get out, I gotta, I gotta, I gotta go do something. I gotta get some sun like I'm trying to get a tan. I gotta go ride, discover something, and so I called Jim and I said, "Come pick me up, man". He said, "What you need"? I said, "Just take me somewhere".
So, he took me, I forgot what the name of this place, Ponce de Leon market or something like that. I'd never been there before. I was blown away, I said, wait a minute, this used to be Sears a long time ago. I said, what's happening? And they got little entertainment thing at the top of it. And they got a little restaurant, food court stuff in there. They had some kind of vegetarian thing, but it didn't smell good, so I... And just got out in the beltline sitting right up there and all that. And you got to figure out how to live. Y'all, hear me deep Christians? You gotta figure out how to live, man. Okay, what can I do the next time? How can I fix this now instead of accept the mistake and move, you know, accept the mistake and just move on is what we need to do.
All right, this happened, let me move on. Not, it happened, and now you go into your little mold. Nobody knows. "Hey, how you doing"? "I'm fine". All right, what do you do when you fall? That's all. That's what it is, life is you fall and you get up. So, we must remember that we are responsible for our emotional reactions and not for anyone else's reaction. I'm responsible for my emotional reactions, I am learning how to grow emotionally. I wanna be emotionally mature, so I have to recognize and accept responsibility for my reactions; I can't blame somebody else for my reaction. "They did this, that's why I reacted". No, I'm responsible for how I act 'cause isn't it amazing that one person can act in a negative way and the same thing done to another person, he controls his emotions?
So, you can't blame the stuff that's going on as the culprit of why certain things happen. So, it's when you take responsibility for your life that you discover how powerful you truly are. And that's a powerful thing to take responsibility for your life. You're not blaming anybody, you're not faulting anybody. You're, "Hey, I take responsibility for my life and who I am". I wanna mention something before I go on. In this day and time, I meet a lot of parents who have to deal with parental shame. In other words, your kids are not doing like you taught 'em, they're not acting like you taught 'em. You told 'em, you instructed 'em, you did everything you could, now they 30-something and they've made decisions to do something, don't you receive no parental shame. You fed 'em, clothed 'em, got 'em through preschool, elementary school, high school, and you even paid for 'em to go to college. After that, you grown.
I mean, they at the house, they paying their bills and all that other kind of stuff, you grown (don't receive shame) Taffi and I were talking about this morning. Shame is like a tormentor: it shows up, then it goes away. It shows up, then it goes away. It goes up, it... don't let that happen. You got it. Jesus said, "He that believeth in me shall not be put to shame". Don't let shame torment your life. Don't let shame, rob you. Don't let shame affect you emotionally. You have to say sometimes, "You know what? I don't think I'm gonna let you mess with me today, shame. You know what? I don't think I'm gonna be shamed today".
And you know, our whole society is filled with working with the spirit of shame. You get shamed when you come to church. "You ought to be ashamed of yourself". You know y'all did, you get shame from your friends, you get just shame everywhere. And I'm thinking, boy, this shame thing is bigger than what I thought. I did a series on it but you didn't listen to it. This shame thing is gigantic. It's huge and all the devil wants to do is just plant... it's a seed planted in your mind, and if you don't know what to do with it, it'll capture your attention, it'll distract you throughout the day and you'll go around, start telling yourself, you ain't no good, you out there... Listen, you just an awful parent, you know? No, don't do that, don't do that. "Well, you didn't do this". And then your children, "You didn't do that, and you didn't do that, and you didn't do that".
Oh, okay, I might not did that, but now you grown, so whatever I didn't do, Jesus will do: you better get to know him. You better get to know him. But what I'm not gonna do is let you shame me. Jesus will take care of everything I didn't know to do. My mama and daddy didn't do everything either, but Jesus took care. You better get to know him. Amen.
So, I didn't mean to spend that much time on that, so let's talk about how to start building personal ownership and responsibility for our life. What do we need to do to start building that? Number one, start noticing your blaming tendencies. Start noticing, notice your blaming tendency. Our tendency to blame others for our circumstances is often, like I said before, it's like a knee jerk reaction. Therefore, I believe that the first step in building ownership is to notice this initial response, the initial one and then acknowledge the part we have played in the situation.
So, the next time things don't go your way, or an unfortunate situation arises, you can take a moment and you can assess your contribution by asking what is my role in this? What is the role that I play in this? And so, as a result of that, you know, it's not automatically blaming that person, but you're like, oh, I've located the tendency I have when this particular thing is done. Or when I hear this particular thing or when I see this particular thing, in other words, why am I so quick to blame somebody else, okay?
Locate those things that are happening. So, and what happens and when you face a challenging situation, I'm not gonna ask whose faced a challenging situation. I mean the whole... wake up in the morning is a challenging situation, okay? So, rather than taking the fetus type of stance, you know, and then shutting down your options by saying, "I can't," what you need to do is try flipping the self-talk by asking yourself, "How can I"? Versus I can't do this, how can I do this, okay? How can I make this thing? How can I do better? How can I respond in a better way?
Number two, practice your power of choice because you have one. Practice your power of choice. When we lack ownership and fail to take responsibility, we tend to fall into the passive trap of saying, "I don't have a choice. I don't have a choice". You ever heard that before? So, we always have a choice, you know that, right? We always have a choice, even when we do not actively choose, we're still choosing by default. And so, by acknowledging our options, we ingrain in a sense of personal responsibility and we develop conscious decision making when you begin to put up into your thinking, I have a choice versus well, I don't have a choice. Now all of a sudden, you know, you're in a situation where you just allow things to stay the same and you can, when you say you don't have a choice, that sounds like you're not taking ownership, right?