Chuck Terrill: Taking responsibility
A man in Brazil recently won a lawsuit against the hamburger giant, McDonald’s.
His award was $17,500.00. Why? He claimed that eating Big Macs for twelve years forced him to gain 65 pounds! When McDonald’s appealed, the award, thankfully, was thrown out.
Have you heard of Nutella? Our teenaged granddaughters love it. Nutella is a chocolatey hazelnut spread that you can buy at the grocery store, on the shelf, right next to peanut butter. The label is plain: the product is made out of nuts. Yet Ferrero, the company that manufactures Nutella, settled a $3 million lawsuit filed by a San Diego mom. She believed Nutella was to blame for her daughter's allergic reaction. A jury agreed.
McDonald’s does not force people to eat Big Macs. Nutella didn’t make a mom buy their product.
These are just two examples of a widespread “victim mentality” that puts the blame for anything and everything in our lives on someone or something else.
I went through the drive-thru at least 100 times last year, did not read any nutrition labels, and completely failed to exercise. Is it McDonald’s fault that I have weight issues? Some juries would say, "Yes!"
Struggling with debt? You can blame your credit card issuer and not your lack of financial planning or frequent impulsive buying.
Are your kids out of control? It’s obviously the school system’s fault. Let’s blame video games and TV programs that are too violent. It’s certainly not poor parenting!
Take responsibility. A word that many Americans shy away from is the word “Responsible.” When the question is asked, “Who is going to take responsibility for this?” many people quickly reply, “Not me!”
This week we honor those who said, “I will take responsibility: for America. I will take responsibility for freedom. No matter what happens to me, I will not neglect my responsibility to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Hundreds of thousands of American men and women did not hesitate to give their lives for the freedom of our Nation. May God bless them. They took responsibility for us.
And may God help all of us to be worthy of their sacrifices by being responsible citizens of the greatest nation in the World.
Chuck Terrill, who has doctorates from Master Theological Seminary and Trinity Seminary, is the senior minister at First Christian Church in Cassville. He may be reached at 471-847-2460.