Few times in human history has so much rested on the shoulders of one man. That man was General Dwight Eisenhower, commander of the Allied forces in World War II. The responsibility: planning and leading the massive secret attack against Hitler’s hold on Europe; the attack that would come to be known as the D-Day Invasion. It can be said that the fate of the world rested on the outcome of that invasion, launched on five beaches on the northern coast of France. And the ultimate decisions about that invasion rested with Dwight Eisenhower. He had said that they only had a plan for victory, and that’s what they expected. But after he gave the final “go” order and committing so many lives to that battle, he must have had some secret doubts about the outcome. In the back of a military vehicle, General Eisenhower drafted a letter that was only revealed years later. In it, he said something like this: “The invasion has failed, and I take full responsibility for that failure. No blame goes to President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, or any other commanders. I am fully responsible.” Well, thank God that letter was never needed. The invasion, of course, succeeded. But that letter revealed the heart of a truly great leader.

I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “The Trouble With Passing the Buck.”

Taking responsibility: That’s a basic trait of a man or woman of character. And it’s getting harder and harder to find. Sadly, there may not be any real progress or any real healing in your situation until someone is man or woman enough to take responsibility, and that someone needs to be you.

Unfortunately, we don’t let the buck stop with us. We’re better at playing the blame game than taking responsibility. That started in the Garden of Eden when Adam blamed Eve for disobeying God and Eve blamed the serpent. When, in fact, each one was responsible for his or her own sin. Not much has changed over the years, has it? It’s my wife’s fault, it’s my husband’s fault, it’s my parents’ fault, it’s my children’s fault, it’s society’s fault, it’s because of the people who wronged me, it’s because of my boss, my job, my church. Round and round goes the buck, and never is there any healing and never any answers.

It’s interesting to see the first place the Prodigal Son of Jesus’ parable began to turn his life around. Apparently, he thought the reason his life wasn’t what he wanted it to be was his home. So he asked his dad for an early inheritance so he could leave home and do his own thing. Eventually, he blew all that money on partying. Now he thought his problem was no money. Then friends turned their backs on him when he ran out of money. Next thing you know, he’s feeding pigs, and the pigs are probably the problem now.

Well, in Luke 15:17, our word for today from the Word of God, the Bible says, “When he came to himself” he was finally ready to say, “I will…go back to my father and say to him: ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.'” At last, the buck stopped. He’s gone down the list of all the people, all the circumstances he could blame, and finally he came to himself as the reason. And that’s when the pieces of his life finally began to come together.

For you, there’s not going to be any healing, there’s not going to be any answers, any restoration, any peace until you finally say, “I’m responsible.” Maybe you’re not the only one responsible, but only you can fix the part that’s you. That may mean a letter you need to write, a call, a visit you need to make, an apology, a confession you need to give, maybe a bitterness or a grudge that you need to release. I know this is hard, but it’s the only way something broken in your life has a chance of getting fixed. And it’s for sure the only way you’re going to get fixed.

Your pride can make you blind to the problem that’s right in the mirror and fill your life with so much unnecessary pain. And the hurt and the hassle just keep going because you keep passing the buck. Be a man or woman of character and integrity. Step up to your responsibility for the way things are. It’s your first big step to finally being free.