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The Difference Between an Orphan and a Son

A blog reader wrote me trying to understand the orphan spirit that she has. What is the difference between an orphan spirit and a spirit of sonship? And what do we do about it? If you’re a son or daughter, you know there’s enough food in your father’s pantry. You invite the hungry to…
By Seth Barnes

A blog reader wrote me trying to understand the orphan spirit that she has. What is the difference between an orphan spirit and a spirit of sonship? And what do we do about it?

If you’re a son or daughter, you know there’s enough food in your father’s pantry. You invite the hungry to sit around your table and enjoy it because there’s always enough. A son or daughter lives out of love and connection and easily pours that out to others who secretly worry that they are orphans. 

Here’s a list that may help you better understand an orphan spirit.

Issue                                    Orphan Spirit                       Spirit of Sonship

View of God                         You see God as Master          See God as a loving Father

Dependency                         Independent/Self-reliant        Acknowledge your need

Law                                        Love of Law                           Law of Love

Feelings of insecurity            You often feel insecure         You’re at peace

Need for approval                 You seek man’s approval      You please an audience of 1

Serving                                 To score points                      Serve with gratitude 

Spiritual Disciplines               Works-oriented                     A means to intimacy 

Self-image                            You feel rejection                  You feel accepted

Sources of comfort                Addictions, compulsions        Times of quietness

Friends                                 Jealous of their success         Feel good when others win 

Comparison                          Critique others to feel good    You love unconditionally

Those in authority                 You don’t trust them               You’re respectful

Critique/correction                Hurts your feelings                 You welcome it

Abundance mentality            Worry about what’s yours       “There’s always enough” 

The future                             Worry about the future             You’re at peace

 

God cares about those who have been orphaned or who feel that way. Jesus offers us a freedom that can change our lives.

Here’s what the Bible says: “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15

Which list looks more like you? Don’t you want to live free, at peace with yourself and the world? I suggest we start by praying a prayer:

“Lord, I’m tired of worrying about whether there will be enough to me. I want to embrace you as my Father and feel like a real son (or daughter). I renounce this orphan spirit and ask that you give me the spirit of adoption. Show me what it’s like to depend on you and you alone for your provision.” 

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