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“Trust the Lord with all your heart, and don’t depend on your own understanding. Remember the Lord in all you do, and he will give you success.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
We rightfully teach our children – and attempt to live our own lives – by the credos of responsibility, self-control, and mature self-reliance.
And yes, being responsible is a very good thing. But when our attitude reaches the point where we trust more in ourselves than in God, twin temptations, both that lead to spiritual shipwreck, suddenly confront us.
Our temptation is pride, an unhealthy arrogance that slips (or roars) into our thinking when things are going great in our lives. We become convinced that we are in control of our own world.
The second temptation, despair, works itself into our hearts when we face the inevitable difficulties and setbacks of life that are outside of our control – illness, a difficult relationship, an economic downturn.
Daily trusting in God – acknowledging that He is the one source of all good gifts and success and the only safe refuge when life is difficult – steers us from the twin dangers of pride and despair.
Jesus once pointed to a little child and said, “I’ll tell you the truth, you must change and become like little children. Otherwise, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. The greatest person in the kingdom of heaven is the one who makes himself humble like this child” (Matthew 18:3-4). A child’s humility is one of trust – it pleases God when we trust Him as a child trusts and depends on his father.
James points out that trials test and prove our faith (James 1:1-3), but we don’t have to wait for challenging moments to begin trusting God with our entire life. The good news is that with complete and total trust in Him, He directs our steps in the most fulfilling paths for our lives.