Tanggung Djawab

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. – Colossians 3:12-17. 

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” – John 14:6. 

The Indonesian language has a word for responsibility “tanggung djawab.” It means literally, “to hold the answer.” This is to say that for anyone to hold the answer in any situation and not to share it they would be blatantly irresponsible. 

What is the responsibility of the Christian? The apostle Paul sums up the Christian’s responsibility with one verse in Colossians 3:17. What does the Christian life include? The Christian life is everything you say, everything you do, and everything you are. The Christian life should be everything, every detail of what you are – nothing held back. 

What does it mean to “do all in the name of the Lord Jesus?” In the time of the early church the name of a person indicated the person’s authority and power – to do something in the name of that person, or in relationship with that person. What is our relationship to Jesus? How do we see Jesus in our life? We must see Jesus as Lord of our lives, not as a Lord, or one of many Lords, but as the Lord. 

Many Colossians, because of a false teaching called Gnosticism, saw Jesus only as a god (among many) and that there were more powerful spirit beings than Jesus. Sadly, I read in a recent Time magazine that there was a survey of religious Americans revealing that 70% agree that “many religions can lead to eternal life.” Ten years ago I wrote in a devotional and said that, “few Christians would admit to having the same problem that the Christians at Colossae had.” Apparently many Christians or possibly false Christians have bought a lie in the past ten years straight from the pit of hell. However, even if we believe that Jesus is the only “Way” to Heaven many of us still have other gods that we worship. If there is anything that we put before God then it is a false God, an idol. 

The false gods we worship and serve today have names like: money, material possessions, careers, recreation, selfishness, alcohol, drugs, pornography, school activities, even our children or our spouses. Before we can ever fulfill our responsibility as a Christian, we must deal with our false gods. 

“Tanggung djawab.” We hold the answer, we bear responsibility for those around us, but before we can ever reach them, we must deal with our own lives. We are each responsible to place Jesus on the throne of our life so that we can fulfill our responsibilities as a child of God.

(What is the responsibility of the Christian? What is your responsibility?)

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