I hope you cringed when you saw that title.
Why? What could be wrong with mini-devotions that allow today's teens (or mums, or business-men, or whoever) who lead crazy lives to get their fix of God?
Um, a lot. Here's the key reason:
They promote the idea that 5 minutes is all God deserves from your busy life. Think about it. God created you and loves you personally, so much that He gave His Son for you. But unfortunately, your busyness means you can only give up 5 minutes of your day to spend with Him. WHAT???!!!!! How is that honouring Him, loving Him? Why does your job, your school, your friends, deserve to be first priority, while He is only worthy of being pushed to the back-burner, the '5-minutes-if-I-get-time' slot?
This post isn't really about devotion books. It's about our attitudes. I know I'm guilty of this. When we're snowed under with school, we'd rather catch up on that essay than read our Bibles and pray. When we promise ourselves we'll have our devotion at night, but then our friend rings with a last-minute invite to dinner and board games, we jump right in. What does that reflect about our priorities, our value of God?
So the good news? We can change our behaviour until our attitude changes. (I don't think this has been tested directly, but it would be based of the scientifically-backed theory of cognitive dissonance - if our attitudes and behaviour are mis-matched, we want to change one to be in line with the other. So if we keep behaving against our attitudes, they'll probably eventually line up. Just don't forget prayer - it helps too. :D)
My next post will be about how we can change our behaviour so that it reflects better priorities. If you have any thoughts on how to remain consistent in devotions, please comment!
P.S. I do think that there are cases where we legitimately might not be able to set aside a chunk of time to focus on God. And if we can't or forget till the next day, or something, it should not be a cause of guilt. I'll talk a bit more about this next post.