The Choices You Make
I recently posted on Facebook:
“No matter what other people do. You are responsible for your own actions. This applies whether the police are militarized, she is dressed skanky, he deserves to be slapped, or someone ticks you off.
We cannot control what others do, we can only determine how we respond to it.”
What I found odd was that no one disagreed with it.
Do you agree with it?
I think it’s very easy to agree with it, but what’s difficult, is whether or not we choose to believe it and then live by it.
I have a very diverse group of friends and many of them are upset by the Ferguson, MO and the apparent militarization of the police. They blamed the rioting and looting because of the police presence, often times the sentiment was, “If the police wouldn’t have done X, than this wouldn’t be a problem.”
There is some validity to that.
The actions of the police may have indeed angered people, and caused them to want to fight back.
That doesn’t excuse what happened. The individual looters and rioters who broke the law should be held accountable to it and prosecuted to the furthest extent of the law if proven guilty.
No one can force us to do anything.
Even at gun point, you choose to follow through on the actions you are ‘forced’ to do.
This logic applies to rapists who try and use the, “Well she dressed like X, she was asking for rape” excuse. While I believe that dressing like X can lead a person to being treated like X, i.e. I find it odd when women who dress in a way that draws attention to their breasts are aghast when people pay attention to their breasts. Drawing attention isn’t the same as forcing. And in terms of rape, even if the way someone dressed can be equated to them asking for something physical to be done to them (which it isn’t); It’s still the responsibility of the individual committing the rape, because THEY *chose* to do it.
And it isn’t just about violent or major crimes like raping and pillaging. It’s about the small things do, keeping ones’ word, being envious, or how you respond to criticism (whether just or unjust).
In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul writes:
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13, ESV)
Paul is writing specifically to Christians, but as God doesn’t want anyone to sin, I believe it applies to non Christians as well. We never are forced to sin, and there is always a way out.
We cannot affect what happens to us and what others do
the way they treat us, what they say, the way they dress, what they do.
We can only control what we do about it and how we respond.