It's not my fault Donald Trump was elected. It's not my fault that Tony Abbott was elected. It's not my fault that other people are entirely ridiculous! Sound familiar?
Essentially this is what many, many people around the world have now been arguing: It's not my fault. And they're right. Not one single person as a citizen of Australia voted for the Presidency of the United States of America. News flash: no one from Canada, New Zealand, England, India, China, Russia and so on voted for Donald Trump. In fact, if we have to blame someone then we have to blame those clearly ignorant members of the United States of America who voted. At least it's not MY fault.
But you see, that is where it becomes entirely your fault. Your fault that you choose to look at other people and blame them as the cause of problems going on in the world. It is time that we as humanity actively took responsibility for our own actions and what we can control. But instead all too often the response to something we don't like is: tears, denial and a lack of responsibility.
I am not saying that I agree that Donald Trump is a great option. I have had a great laugh at the idea of walls being built between the United States and Mexico for instance. Bullying, sexism and racism on the other hands are not laughing matters. However, for those who did not vote Donald Trump to turn around and say 'he's not my president' (by implication an 'it's not my fault' statement) is to ignore the way their democracy works. To become selfishly obsessed with the fact that an outcome is 'not my outcome' is immature. More than that suggesting that 'America is doomed' or 'I'm leaving the country' if truly meant in a heartfelt manner, is to surrender to the very fear and hatred that many people worry about in Donald Trump.
Responsibility often appears to be made up of two words: Response and Ability. My parents often taught me that part of maturing in life is being willing to take responsibility for my own actions. For what I can control, and for what I do. These two words, Response and Ability, mean so very much when placed together. They mean the need to have an appropriate Response to any situation to the best Ability.
Importantly, you see the reminder that Paul made here is not simply to take responsibility for the gift of God in Timothy's life. He also reminds Timothy that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound-mind (as other translations suggest). It is the power of God that allows us to be able to take true responsibility for the issues that concern us, that we are responsible for.
My encouragement is that the Christian and the non-Christian can become capable of stopping and taking responsibility. That as people we clamp down on stating that it is not our fault. That perhaps, just maybe, we instead say - but I may have a solution and the response and ability to see that solution through.