Don’t quite know why, but I am always surprised when I realize a new friend was adopted as a child. I guess I assume that everyone who was adopted has common features or characteristics. But that is really not true. And there is such a difference between being adopted and being an orphan.
Those distinctions have a spiritual impact as well. Spiritually, God’s kids have all been adopted into the family of God. Carson Pue’s book, Mentoring Leaders has an amazing chart that contrasts being a spiritual orphan and an adopted child of God.
If we are “orphaned” from God (we choose to be apart from His loving umbrella), we tend to be independent and very self-reliant. Our love relationships are guarded and very conditional. We tend to fight for all we can get.
The adopted child of God on the other hand, is interdependent and quick to acknowledge his or her need for a Savior. We are more open and patient with our relationships and willing to lay down our agendas to meet the needs of others. We don’t have the urge to fight for our inheritance, we know it is coming.
The spiritual orphan sees the Lord as an angry master. The adopted kid sees God as a loving heavenly father. The orphan has a ton of “musts” in their life. God’s kids are motivated by love and have a deep gratitude that urges them to do well.
It’s the difference in feeling like a servant or slave or feeling like a son or daughter.
Our view of authority is very distinct too. The orphan sees authority as a source of pain and has a deep-seated distrust towards those over them. The adopted child of God sees authority figures as sent by God to accomplish good in our lives. We tend to respect and honor them.
Looking into the future, the orphan is constantly on the hunt for achievement and distinction. The son or daughter of Christ can rest in the unconditional love of the Father and bask in His acceptance.
So this week, spend some time considering your position before God. Are you an orphan (or acting like one)? Or are you a settled, confident child of the King? (Take a look at Galatians 4:1-7 and Romans 8:14-17)
Being adopted is a very good thing!