Taking Responsibility

By Tony Evans
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Focus on the Family
When a man has demonstrated that he is dependable and responsible, and that he has taken ownership to fix, solve or simply carry the burden, he frees others to relax.

In the Evans home, we have a sign. I can’t remember exactly when I started doing it, but when a problem comes up or a legitimate issue gives rise to worry or concern, I will sometimes raise three fingers. That’s all. When I raise three fingers, and without having to say a word, I can immediately see the tension leave my wife’s face or the face of the person to whom I’m talking. The tension goes away because those three fingers remind them of three words: I’ve got it.

When I say, “I’ve got it,” that means that whomever I’m saying it to doesn’t have to carry it, worry about it or try to figure it out. I’ll take responsibility for it. And if it is something that I cannot solve, I will provide the comfort, stability and empathy that are necessary to get through it. It doesn’t mean that I literally and tangibly do everything. It means that I see to it that everything is done.

Protection and provision

As a man, when you have demonstrated to a woman, child or other people within your sphere of influence that you are dependable and responsible, and that you take ownership to fix, solve or simply carry the burden, you have freed them to rest. You have freed them to relax because they know that they can trust the man who has proven to them through past actions that he’s got it. As a kingdom man, those around you need to know that you’ve got it.

It is not terribly different from what God does for us when He tells us not to worry.

Essentially, God says,

“Fear not, I’ve got it.

“Don’t worry, I’ve got it.

“Be still, I’ve got it.

God’s covering over us as His sons is a model of how we as men are to cover those under us. To cover someone or to be someone’s covering simply means that you provide the protection and provision they need, as well as an environment for nurturing and fostering emotional, spiritual and physical health. Men, when God’s got it and you are leading and living according to His principles and under His governance, your faith in Him comes through in how you relate to those around you. Essentially, you’ve got it because you are putting your trust in and functioning according to the truth that God’s got it.

One of the most visual reflections I have of this covering is a bronze statue of a male eagle with his wings spread out covering the mother eagle and their eaglets. The statue sits in a prominent location in my office at the church to serve as a reminder of my role over those within my realm. God doesn’t sit down on the couch and turn on the television when someone needs Him. Neither does He run off to work as a get-away excuse. Rather, He takes responsibility to comfort those within a crisis or correct the situation.

Dr. Tony Evans is the president of The Urban Alternative and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship. He also is the author of Kingdom Man

Adapted from Kingdom Man, a Focus on the Family book published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. © 2012 Tony Evans. Used by permission.

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About the Author

Tony Evans

Dr. Tony Evans is founder and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, founder and president of The Urban Alternative, former chaplain of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, and present chaplain of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. His radio broadcast, The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, can be heard on nearly 1,000 US radio outlets daily and in more than …

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