As we go about our daily lives, we can’t escape responsibilities. Even on the odd day off and we get the chance to relax in bed, we still find ourselves faced with the duty to keep ourselves fed (and if you’re like me, that usually involves unhealthy food). Growing up, I loved watching superhero films. Spiderman was one of those films (the Tobey Maguire ones), and possibly my favourite quote on responsibility comes from this film. Ben Parker turns to Peter (Spiderman) and says “with great power, comes great responsibility.” Whichever way we go about our day, at some point we will be dealing with a responsibility.
This happens especially in sport, responsibility pops up over and over again. It’s a bowler’s responsibility to get the batter out in cricket, or in football it’s the striker’s responsibility to put the ball in the back of the net (which in Harry Kane’s case happens a lot), the list could go on and on. Yet every sportsman and woman has one common responsibility – as a role model.
Being able to play sport is a gift, but being able to play sport professionally is a whole new level. Imagine all those eyes watching on as you step up to take a penalty must be so nerve racking. But professionals are making the most of the gift they have been given to play sport to the best of their ability, and we have that same responsibility.
Now you may be thinking ‘but I don’t play sport professionally!’ which is probably what I would be thinking as well, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a gift. We have all been given a different gift, whether that’s playing sport, being a teacher or coach, being able to make people laugh. You could probably list plenty yourself, but what’s most important is how we use those gifts we’ve been given.
We can be quick to shy away from taking responsibility and using the gifts we’ve been given. We can hide behind the crowd and hope that we’re not picked when somebody asks for a job to be done. We try to abandon our responsibility. The story of Jonah is a great example of this, he chose to run away from his responsibilities that God had given him instead of facing them.
Now I’m not suggesting you’re going to be eaten by a whale if you run from responsibility, but we’re encouraged by God to use our gifts that have been given to us. Romans 12: 6-8 puts this perfectly: ‘We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith. If it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.’
We are uniquely, fearfully and wonderfully made exactly how God wants us to be. As Christians we believe God has a plan for our lives, and that involves the gifts that have been given to us.
So how can you use the gift that you have been given by God? Could you step to the front instead of hiding behind others? Whether you know what your gift is or not, we have been given the responsibility to use it in the best way we can, using it to serve each other and to be role models. Most importantly, remember that with great power, comes great responsibility.