In many of the later books of The Sword of Truth, Richard makes a big deal about how an individual controls their own life. For instance, in The Naked Empire, he tells the pristinely ungifted that:
As part of the D’Haran Empire, your lives will be your own.
However, he also has the pristinely ungifted go through the Devotion, where they say the following, directed at him.
“Master Rahl, guide us. Master Rahl, teach us. Master Rahl, protect us. In your light we thrive. In your mercy we are sheltered. In your wisdom we are humbled. We live only to serve. Our lives are yours.”
So Richard's message is that their lives are their own, but also that their lives are his. How does Richard reconicle this?