There are what we call responsibilities in this life, and there are three categories that these responsibilities fall into, want to, have to and need to. The last one, need to, is predetermined only by what we would consider the essentials of life, and as far as I have been able to discern, there is only one of them that we have no control over whatsoever. To put it bluntly, you need to use the restroom, go to the bathroom, dispose of bodily waste, whichever vernacular you choose to describe it by, it is a function you have a general control over in its timeliness only, but if you wait too long though, you may be performing this function in a way that would not necessarily be of your choosing.
You may say that we need to eat and drink, but that is not a need, it is a choice, you will die of starvation or dehydration if you do not, but the responsibility to maintain the body is not a need, in no matter what form you address it. You don’t need to brush your teeth, ignore them, they’ll go away, no bathing, again not a need, you will stink, but not a need, the so-called needful maintenance of the body is only necessary if you want to stay alive. You don’t have to or even need to go to work to earn money, you won’t have a place to live or the ability to purchase anything, but again, if you are not concerned with remaining alive, then this again is not a needful responsibility, it is not even one that you have to do. If you have family members, wife, children and you believe that you have a responsibility to them, this need of you “have to,” no you don’t, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (1 Tim. 5:8) So, you’re an infidel, big deal, you still do not have to fulfill this obligation, no one is forcing any responsibility on you in any area of your life, no one, not even God.
You do not have to do anything that you do not want to do, you have absolutely no responsibilities whatsoever and you never have, except for those that you want to do. You don’t eat, you die, you don’t provide for your family, they become homeless, you don’t accept Christ as Savior, you go to hell. No one has any responsibility that they need to or have to do, they are all done because we want to, because we choose to, and the main reason for many of these decisions is only because of the consequences that we will inevitably face,, whether they be negative or positive.
“No man ever yet hated his own flesh,” (Eph. 5:29) so we take care of the flesh, some in this area far too much, because many have become “lovers of self,” (2 Tim. 3:2) why do you think they call it a selfie? Others take care to provide for the needs of those they love, some so much that they are rarely seen by them, a bigger house, a nicer vehicle, more of this and less of them seems to be the standard today, and so in their minds they need to work, or the consequences would be the loss of all those things, and possibly prison time for not paying off their massive debt. Consequences, we bring them upon ourselves because we think we have to or need to, when in reality everything that we have done and accomplished is because we wanted to. “But if I don’t pay for mom’s nursing home care, she will die on the street.” Then she dies on the street. Sounds harsh doesn’t it, but it does not change the structure of the topic one bit, even this horrible sounding example is not a need of responsibility, it is a want to, a choice, and guess what, mom would not be the first one to die on the street.
Have you been able to figure out what the meaning of this letter to you is all about yet? If I stopped right now and wrote no more would you be able to? Let me help you out a little bit before I give you the answer, all these letters are written to those, who I hope, are born- again believers, obedient servants of Christ, and what is the Law of Christ? There you go, you got it, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matt. 22:29) We have been saved by grace thru faith, (Eph. 2:8) we are to show that same type of grace in love to all we meet, and we do this by wanting to fulfill our responsibilities. We do not have to, we never need to, we want to.
Love is an action, whether it be word or deed, it is never forced upon us, it is done of our own free will and never is to be done for selfish reasons, it is a choice we make and it is never forced upon us by our Lord to perform this task. Do whatever you want, that has always been God’s way, but know this, there will be consequences for your actions, and it is the fulfilment of these “want to” responsibilities that we will be rewarded for in either a negative or positive way. Wood, hay, stubble, gold, silver, precious stones, one hundred percent your choice, your responsibility, you will be held accountable for the actions of your heart in every matter. Hopefully mom won’t die on the street, but will she die in her sins?
When it comes time for me to get up and go to work, I’m a grumbler, I have always enjoyed my free time much more than I have enjoyed money, but I go. We are to do everything without complaining, (Phil. 2:14) but I fail miserably in this area, not constantly of course, but enough sometimes that my lovely wife has to reassure me that it will not be for much longer far too many times. I do what I do because I choose to do it, every single one of us does, but we should all be fulfilling these responsibilities out of love, and never because of the possible consequences. It is our actions and inactions that determine who we are, who we think we are has very little to do with anything in this area, intentions are nothing more than unfulfilled actions.
You must come to the realization of this truth, everything that you have chosen to do, you have done of your own free will, you have reaped the consequences of those deeds, you have reaped what you have sown. The evil of others may have forced you at times, but everything else you have been responsible for, and you will give an account of it. (Romans 14:12) It is the heart that our Lord will judge, not the need to’s, but the want to’s.