4-Minute Sermons

RESPONSIBILITY – A Four-Minute Sermon

Faith Committee, Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky


Contributed by Clyde C. Miller
Senior Pastor (Retired), First Christian Assembly, Cincinnati, OH

July 1, 2001


Your “response – ability” will determine your responsibility. And what is responsibility? Have you ever played tennis or watched a tennis match? Then you’ve probably heard this sound, “Spon!” It’s the sound that a tennis ball makes when a player hits it from his court to that of his challenger. I’ll be using it to “punctuate” this article. That’s a good start toward defining the word “respond” which is the root of the character study word “responsibility”, or “the ball is in your court!” If the tennis match is to go on, you have to “re-spond”, or send the ball back again. That’s response and response is the beginning of “responsibility”, keeping up with my end of the game. What am I going to do with the ball? –Spon!!

Responsibility is taking ownership of that which is assigned to me. If I promise to do a good job with what or who is assigned to me, I have accepted responsibility. If I actually do my assignment, I’m deemed a responsible person. I demonstrated my “response-ability”. Spon!!

The prefix “re” means again. Here comes the tennis ball, -again! Spon!! For the game to go on I must “Re – Spond”. As one elderly lady said to me, “You have to keep on keeping on.” You do your job, today, tomorrow, next week, etc. until you or your job is finished! It’s your job, your appointment, your baby. Do your job, keep your appointment, take care of your baby. Herein is the first lesson of “Responsibility 101”.

Back to the tennis game, Spon! There is a difference between life and a tennis match, however. In tennis, if you receive the ball and you fail to return it, you lose. -Not so in God’s game of life. In life, you only lose if you quit playing. One who continues to do his or her best as long as he or she is under assignment is still seen as responsible – Spon!! So keep swinging. That’s responsible responsibility.



This material is published by the Faith Committee of the Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Reproduction and Adaptation is encouraged.