I’m sure that I did not coin this phrase, but I am unable to give credit where it is due. If you as a reader know where I ought to give credit, please let me know and I will include it here.
On the notecard that I am addressing in the post I have written an (what I believe to be my own) interpretation of that header. It reads:
- We have responsibility in:
- every thought
- every word
- every deed
- every attitude
- every motive
Presumably the we refers to all people, but especially believers in Christ.
Having responsibility is needed for the Christian – even the Calvinist. Thankfully, almost all philosophers in this day affirm compatibilism as a valid expression of metaphysics. I affirm compatibilism and the persons responsibility. Further, I find the categories helpful for brining to mind the extent of personal responsibility.
I keep above my desk at work a note which exhorts, daily, stand at the gate of your mind. I’m trying to remind myself that I am responsible for every thought. Likewise, I want to remember that I am responsible for every word and deed, which require a more permanent thought (or at least they should although some are in the habit of acting/speaking without thinking). Last, it is good to remember that the attitudes and motives of thoughts, words, and deeds also matter, because God is seeking to transform our very beings, our affections, and our nature into Christlikeness. He is not satisfied to have us doing and saying the right things – not even thinking the right things – we must do and say and think the right things with the right attitude and motive, because then it will be known that what we have become was not the result of human will (which is corrupted by sin), but rather the result of gracious, merciful divine intervention.