Step it Up | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
August 2010

Step it Up

By: Deena Marie Hamilton
Being a pastor makes me speculate about the wonderful ways God will inspire me. I’m always looking for the next subtle occurrence to remind me of the lessons of life. I’m not ever disappointed when it comes to God’s subtle way of revealing His truth to me.

I was in church one Sunday, and one of my lay members was doing the children’s sermon that Sunday. It was something that I just kept thinking about for the entire week.

She talked about “passing the buck” and her biblical reference was the third chapter of Genesis. Is this chapter familiar? It should be because this is the chapter where Adam and Eve are confronted about eating fruit from the forbidden tree. As I sat and listened to her impart knowledge to the children and youth of my congregation, I begin thinking about how people just don’t want to take responsibility for their actions. This is not a new issue of concern, but an ancient one.

When reading about the showdown between God, Adam, and Eve, it just seemed that once it all hit the fan, and everything was exposed… nobody wanted to take responsibility for the damage that had been done. Adam says in Gen 3:12 “The wife you made gave it to me to eat!” And so to defend herself, Eve just had to interpolate with, “But the serpent tricked me into eating it!” in verse thirteen in the same chapter.

We are living in a society where people act before thinking about the consequences of their actions. I would not be honest if I did not admit to not being guilty of the same thing in one time or another in my life. But eventually it comes to a point where enough is enough. All our actions have a ripple effect on the lives of the people around us either directly or indirectly.

What is most important in life as Christians? Luke 10: 27 states that we need to love God and others. If we are striving to live lives pleasing to God we will not vandalize or damage other people’s property. We wouldn’t do malicious things to spitefully hurt people. We would not lie on others, hurt others physically, mentally, or spiritually, keep up drama that is meaningless, or do anything to other people that we know would be devastating to ourselves. But yet and still we pass the buck, and when we are confronted with the issue we blame others for our actions. The only thing we can ever control is our reaction in situations that we find ourselves in.

When you’ve wronged someone, which I have done before, have the courage to apologize or do something to amend the situation. Apologizing for something that I’ve done wrong is the hardest thing that I have ever done. Admitting my part in a situation can seem debilitating. Truly forgiving someone for hurting me seems almost impossible because the pain is so deep. But it’s just the right thing to do. It’s the Christ thing to do.

There is definitely merit in Christian living. Before I accepted God’s calling in my life, I had friends for most of my life that I have had spiritual differences with. Some claim to be Agnostic or Atheist. It didn’t matter to me at the time because they always treated me with respect and kindness. I noticed the way that they lived, and whether they wanted to admit it or not they were living their lives according to the teachings that were found in Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the words of wisdom imparted in the epistles, and some of the parables I learned from the New Testament in Sunday school. So, in my opinion, that proves that living according to what’s pleasing to God works.

It’s time to step it up, stop passing the buck, and show the world why we are who we are. If we have the boldness to take on the name of Christ and call ourselves Christians, then it’s time to step it up so that the world will see the Light of Christ within us not the darkness of the world. If Christ could step it up for us on Calvary, then let’s show our appreciation by not passing the buck anymore.

See more devotions from Deena Marie and our other Young Adult writers, or find our how you can become a writer yourself at our By Young Adults for Young Adults devotion page.