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.
- 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.