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The Role of Humility in Devotion

Relationships grow when built on honesty and founder when based on demands, just like our devotional lives.

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My 10-year-old takes medication that has the side effect of suppressing her appetite. She eats a solid breakfast, but then often neglects to eat lunch. By mid-afternoon she has low blood sugar and is so out of sorts that she doesn’t even realize she’s hungry.

In truth, her not-eating-lunch pattern makes me cranky, too. My response to her mood tends to depend on whether she snarls, “There’s nothing to eat!” or says, “Mom, I wasn’t hungry at lunch, and now I can’t find anything that looks good. Can you help me?” The reason is obvious: humility. Although the problem isn’t entirely her fault, when she admits her role in it I can see she’s open to working with me to find a solution.

I suspect there’s a lesson here for my devotional life. Relationships grow when they’re built on honesty and founder when they’re based on demands. And though God’s a far more gracious parent than I am, I’d guess He responds differently when I complain, “Lord, I’m anxious!” than when I confess, “Jesus, I’m afraid of failing at ____ because of what others will think. Can you help me?”

Taking responsibility for my part of the problem makes a difference. Humility signals that I’m asking God to work with me instead of expecting Him to solve my problems for me. Which means we have a relationship. And that’s good.

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