Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Blast From the Past: Happy Dependence Day

Blast from the past
All Things New: Happy Dependence Day: In so many ways, I'm really very American. The whole spirit of independence and personal autonomy drives me all too often. And therein lies the rub!

Am I living like an orphan (independent) or like a daughter of God?

Here are some characteristics to look for from Rose Marie Miller's book From Fear to Freedom:

Characteristics of an orphan -
  • Life consciously or unconsciously is centered on personal autonomy and moral will power, with grace understood as God's maintaining your own strength -- not as his transforming power.
  • Faith is defined as trying harder to do and be better, with a view to establishing a good record leading to self-justification.
  • Obedience is related to external, visible duties, with attitudes and deeper motivation virtually ignored.
  • "What people think" is represented as the real moral standard, based upon visible success and failure.
  • An "I-am-a-victim" attitude is supported by coping strategies: wall building, blame shifting, gossiping, and defending. All this is accompanied by intense feelings of aloneness, believing that no one understands and that one is trapped by circumstances.
Characteristics of a daughter of God
  • Increasing assurance of God as Father through knowledge of the doctrine of the Cross.
  • Building a partnership with God, relying on the Spirit for a willing and obedient life.
  • Forgiving instead of judging and condemning, putting off defensiveness, and learning to listen.
  • Relying on the Holy Spirit to use the tongue for praise and not complaint or gossiping.
  • Seeing by faith God's sovereign plan over one's life as wise and good -- a plan not to be feared.
  • Learning to pray; recognizing that we have no resources, and claiming the promises of God.
  • Relying on the Holy Spirit in going quickly to Christ with sins, burdens, and needs, seeking daily forgiveness and cleansing.

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