Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Gratitude and Humility

“What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?”  -Psalm 8:4

When we adopted Lexi, we committed to care for her. She deserves our love and care simply because we promised we would give it. She can take it for granted. We don’t expect any gratitude. In fact, dogs probably don’t feel gratitude, at least not as humans understand it.* When God adopted us as his children (Romans 8:15), he committed to care for us as a parent does. The answer to the psalmist’s question is “God’s children.” We don’t deserve God’s love and care except that God promised he would give it. Yet we shouldn’t take it for granted—not because God will withdraw his love if we aren’t properly grateful, but because we might mistake God’s blessings for our own achievements. We’ll grow prideful, judgmental, and hardhearted. Our gratitude to God keeps us humble so we can walk humbly with our God.

Dear God, Teach me not to take your care for granted. Teach me gratitude and humility so that I can walk humbly with you. Amen

*The emotion we might interpret as gratitude when a dog gets what it wants—food, shelter, warmth, attention, treats—is, researchers seem to believe, basic happiness. This is not to deny that dogs are loyal and affectionate.

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