Eradicating Orphan Thinking
Being in the middle of an international adoption has brought a lot of revelation to the surface as the Holy Spirit speaks in these situations. Over the next weeks, I want to write specifically on these facets of orphan thinking and encourage all of us to reach deeper for the mind of Christ and the true offer of sonship.
As we met and played with our son for the first time in the orphanage in Japan, we were over the moon with joy and excitement. The day we had dreamed about had finally alive. The face we knew only from pictures was staring back at us–talking and laughing riotously. The bits of wisdom about who he is given in a report couldn’t hold a candle, of course, to this vibrant, amazing boy in front of us.
For years we had loved this boy even though we didn’t know who he was. After we started getting acquainted, the love only deepened and grew. We would have climbed the proverbial mountain to get him to his family.
That’s why we were shocked when caretakers told us that with our hours together, Mizuki had been trying desperately to have the happiest face and the highest energy possible so we would “like him.” In his mind, if he wasn’t happy every second, being funny, or showing how energetic he could be, we might not like him and would change our mind about him.
We could even begin to see the signs of him getting exhausted with it all, but it was hard to make him understand that none of it was necessary.
I felt a pit in my stomach and a lump in my throat. My son thought he had to gain my approval and maintain a certain appearance, but he didn’t understand that he was already my son and nothing could change that. He had already been added to the family.
This orphan thinking is rampant in the Church and it destroys lives by destroying relationships with people and relationship with God. It causes us to believe that God can only be placated if we are nice, happy, and put our best foot forward. If we aren’t willing to play the game, we can’t be accepted.
Now, it certainly doesn’t help that many of the chief orphans are running so many of our houses of worship. Their need to be accepted translates into disciples who carry the same orphan thinking patterns. All the while, the Father is crying out to us, “Don’t you realize you already had my affection and love. I had already called you my child.”
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. –Ephesians 1:3-6
Too many are getting burned out trying to earn favor that was theirs to begin with–because of their adoption as sons. They mistakenly believe their joy is only from what they can do for God instead of realizing the joy springs from who we are to Him. That’s why when some lose their influence of ability to serve in the “higher” capacities, they despair and give up.
The key is to live from the position of sonship, trusting the love that pursued before time began. God isn’t changing His mind about you. Speaking as an earthly father, it’s inconceivable to me so I know it’s absolutely ridiculous to think our heavenly Father would somehow lose interest in you if you don’t measure up.
What are your thoughts on this? Have you been guilty of trying to earn something that was already yours?