The three R’s we have in mind are responsibility, rebellion, and rights. There is a relationship between these three which we plan to expose in the next few hundred words to better prepare you for the battle against your carnal mind.

Let’s begin with something on which most of us agree: Rebellion corrupts everything.

Yes, everything! And the seed of it is in every one of us. As the Scriptures assert, every human being is born with the sin. Not just “sin”, but “the sin” (i.e., our rebellious nature). Adam and Eve’s fateful decision to eat from the forbidden tree was more than an act of disobedience, it was the evidence of their treason against God.

For His own good reasons, God does not free us from the influences of our rebellious nature when we are born again. Instead, He has given us the responsibility and the grace to overcome it. This is an ongoing battle. Those that choose to ignore their responsibility suffer the consequences. Responsible warriors enjoy alliance with the Holy Spirit.

That enemy – our #1 enemy – is our carnal mind. Our carnal mind, hiding away in our subconscious, encourages rebellion in subtle and destructive ways. The carnal mind is at enmity with God, working to turn what God intends for good into some of the worse kinds of evil. Take responsibility for example.

Responsibility + Rebellion = Rights

The responsibility given to parents has become their right to end a pregnancy (i.e., murdering the baby to whom they are responsible). The responsibility of good citizenship has been twisted by rebellion into a semi-anarchist claim for personal rights, right now. The responsibility of gun ownership has morphed into the right to protect ourselves, our possessions, and our rights – even at the cost of another human life.

There is no need to belabor the point. Our carnal minds have flipped God-given responsibility on its head. Rights no longer require responsibility; they simply belong to everyone. Ironically, we are no longer responsible to anyone but ourselves because we have rights.

The Western church has not escaped this deception. We have, for some time now, been conforming ourselves to the world. Those identifying as Christians abort their babies at the same rate; and we have joined the right-claiming divisiveness that is tearing our communities apart. Our gospel has become more about our rights to enter heaven than our responsibility to bring heaven to earth.

Now, the point of this article is not simply to point out the obvious (and it is); nor is it to point a finger at the world and worldly Christians. We all suffer the attacks of our carnal mind. We all need a heads-up on its deceptions and distractions.

Here’s the application and encouragement: We must all become more suspicious of the way we think. Generally speaking, being more concerned about our rights than our responsibilities is evidence of our carnal mind’s influence. When we think, “That’s not fair!”, “What about me and my rights?”, or any similar thought, we are likely operating out of our rebellious nature.

To overcome these self-directed thoughts, we can ask the question, “What is my responsibility here?” Beware, the carnal mind will not take this resistance lying down. There will be blame-shifting and excuse-making. Do not engage in a debate with your carnal mind; this too is a distraction.

This question – What is my responsibility here? – should be directed toward our Father in heaven. Only He has the appropriate, loving, and just answer. Only He has the words of faith that appropriate the grace required; that we might become responsible followers of Jesus Christ, and overcomers of ALL of God’s enemies.

God bless you with grace for the pursuit of responsibility – including the responsibility for your carnal mind’s deceptions and distractions.

Humbly yours and forever His,