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Listening with love

All those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. v. 14

One August evening in Vermont, a young missionary spoke at our small church. The country where he and his wife served was in religious turmoil, and it was considered too dangerous for children. In one of his stories, he told us about a heart-wrenching episode when his daughter pleaded with him not to leave her behind at a boarding school.

I was a new dad at that time, having recently been blessed with a daughter, and the story upset me. How could loving parents leave their daughter alone like that? I muttered to myself. By the time the talk was finished, I was so worked up that I ignored the offer to visit with the missionary. I charged out of the church, saying out loud as I left: “I’m sure glad I’m not like . . .”

In that instant, the Holy Spirit stopped me cold. I couldn’t even finish the sentence. Here I was, saying almost word for word what the Pharisee said to God: “I thank You that I am not like other men” (Luke 18:11). How disappointed I was in myself! How disappointed God must have been! Since that evening, I’ve asked God to help me listen to others with humility and restraint as they pour their hearts out in confession, profession, or pain.

— Randy Kilgore

Lord, may we be quick to listen and slow to speak and to judge. A proud attitude so easily infects our lives. Give us instead a humility that reflects Your heart and love.

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READ: Luke 18:9-14

We don’t get closer to God

by passing judgment on others.

Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 19-21 and John 4:1-30

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