Responsibility is a moral, legal, and mental accountability that causes a person to possess the qualities of reliability and trustworthiness. Responsibility is a crucial idea that outlines our lives. Life’s concrete concepts are poured into the forms of responsibility, giving shape to our life. It means we take responsibility for our mistakes, apologize, and ask forgiveness. It means we pay our bills on time, pick up after ourselves, and clean up our own messes. It means we treat people in a respectable way even when we disagree with them. It is responsible to forgive, to share, to help, to not blame, to correct, to improve, and to make right what is wrong in our actions. It means that we are people who make mistakes, but we are willing to learn to take responsibility for them. It means keeping our promises and being responsible for every word that comes out of our mouth. That, of course, means that we are responsible for our own attitude, and that is no easy task. The earlier we learn responsibility, the earlier we start being responsible for our own actions.
Daniel, from the Old Testament, is an example of what responsibility looks like. He was transported from his country of Judah to Babylon. Though he was still very young, he carried with him the formation of a young man with character and godly principles that were instilled by his parents. His name means “God is my judge.” Even though the Babylonians immersed him in their culture and enrolled him in their university to be a future leader, he never forgot his principles. When there were contradictions to his principles, he remained true to his God and his convictions.
Once, when Nebuchadnezzar had a dream, he demanded that his wise men interpret the dream. To make things more difficult, he required them to tell him the dream and the interpretation. When they told him that was impossible, he ordered them all to be executed (Dan 2:1-28). When Daniel was told that he and his friends would also be executed, he asked the king for time to interpret the dream, and the king granted him time. He and his friends took the matter to God in prayer and pleaded for mercy (Dan 2:17-18). During the night, God revealed the mystery to Daniel in a vision.
Prayer was a way of life for Daniel and not the last resort. Prayer is not so much taught as it is caught. Children learn how big God is and how powerful he is by seeing him respond to their parent’s prayers. When Daniel appeared before the king, he was asked if he could interpret the dream. Daniel answered that no one had been able to explain the mystery to the king, “…but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries” (Dan 2:27-28).
Daniel demonstrates the principle of responsibility in so many ways. He does not fall apart in a crisis but keeps his head. He goes to God in prayer for direction, and God gives it to him. His life and testimony are a witness to those who know him. He is humble yet courageous. The book of Daniel records that Daniel remained a man of responsibility all his life and never wavered from his principles. He never gave up, and as a result, he stands with distinction as an example to us all. His life is what a responsible life looks like.