The watchman was not responsible for the people’s decision in responding to his warning cry, but he was responsible to sound the alarm.

Ezekiel 33:5-6
5 He heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand. 
This passage is a sobering wake-up call, both to Israel and also to her prophets. Destruction was drawing near, and God wanted the alarm to be sounded. The city watchman is used as a symbol of God using His prophets to warn God’s people of His coming judgement–if the watchman sounded the alarm and the people listened, they could be saved from the destruction. If the watchman didn’t sound the alarm though, then the watchman would bear responsibility for the resulting deaths. The watchman was not responsible for the people’s decision in responding to his warning cry, but he was responsible to sound the alarm.
There’s a fine line of responsibility in how I interact with others. No matter how much I love them and want the best for them, they are ultimately responsible for their own decisions. God requires me to do the things He’s called me to do, but the outcome doesn’t rest on my shoulders. This can be frustrating when I see people that I care about destroying themselves with unwise decisions, but it also means that I don’t get to take the credit when they do heed my warning and turn around–the glory belongs to God, not me.
This personal-responsibility boundary is what keeps me grounded and healthy through the crazy times as well as the great moments–as long as I’m fulfilling the things to which God has called me, then I don’t get to take the credit or beat myself up with blame.
This week, I choose to sound the alarm when danger looms near. I choose to be courageous to speak up to get the attention of those who don’t see the approaching destruction. I choose not to blame myself for the destructive decisions of those around me, and with the grace of God I choose to remain humble instead of puffing myself up in pride when my warning results in a life saved–because the glory belongs to God.
God, thank you for loving us enough to warn us when danger is approaching! Give me courage to speak up when needed, so your love could save people from destruction. As I fulfill my calling, help me to keep a healthy boundary in not blaming myself when people decide to ignore the warning cry–and help me to always give you the glory when I see you accomplishing transformation in people’s lives…because I cannot take the credit for the work that you are doing. 

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