It was one of those rare occasions when I was out of town on a Sunday. We were visiting my mother-in-law and attended church with her. On Saturday afternoon, it occurred to me that I am not preaching, I am not teaching a class, I am not leading a discussion or participating in any form of leadership during today's activities. "I have no responsibilities!"

To have no leadership responsibilities is very unusual for someone who has been in full-time ministry for nearly three decades. I must admit that these rare opportunities to relax and participate in a non-leadership manner are rather enjoyable. Yet, as the morning progressed, I realized that although I was not serving the church in any public way, I did still have responsibilities.

I have a responsibility to my wife.
As her husband I have the responsibility to love her, honor her, and encourage her to live for God as the woman He would have her be. That is my responsibility. There is no time when that is not my responsibility.

I have a responsibility to my children.
My children look to me for guidance, advice (even though they don't always realize they want my advice, I know they do), support, unconditional love, spiritual leadership, and an example of a godly husband, father, and friend. Providing these is my responsibility.

I have a responsibility to my friends.
When we walked into the class we would visit, I was greeted and gladly greeted a number of people I have known since my college days. One in particular has been a mentor to me for thirty-four years. Others have been good long-distance friends. I have a responsibility to encourage them, help them remember the encouragement they have been to me, and the encouragement they continue to provide for me, as they remain faithful to the Lord.

I have a responsibility to my church.
Though I am away, I still have a responsibility to the church that I serve. When asked, "How are things?" I confidently acknowledge that things are going very well. Life is good. God is blessing us. I do not tell them all our problems and shortcomings. That would not be good for them, nor would it be good for our church. My responsibility is to be gracious, loving, and positive.

I have a responsibility to my community and country.
On this day my community needs me to be a good citizen. To share good things with those with whom I connect. It is my responsibility to support the good things that are taking place in our community and country with prayer and by exercising my freedoms by voting and encouraging a godly way of life. That is my responsibility.

I have a responsibility to my Lord.
Needless to say, I have a major responsibility to my Lord. I have the responsibility to live in such a way that glorifies Him. I have the responsibility to praise Him with my life, my words, my attitude, my example, and my service. Whether publicly or privately I have the responsibility to live my whole life loving Him with all my heart, my soul, my mind, and my strength. That is my responsibility.

There is no vacation from these responsibilities.
Publicly, I have few responsibilities during these few days away from home. However, I am responsible. There is no vacation from these responsibilities. There is no substitute for me in fulfilling my responsibilities. In this case, it is about me and my walk with God and His desire that I be responsible.

Share each other's troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone in need, you are only fooling yourself. You are really a nobody.Be sure to do what you should, for then you will enjoy the personal satisfaction of having done your work well, and you won't need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct. (Galatians 6:2-5)