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 than no one understands and that one is trapped by circumstances.
Characteristics of a son or daughter:
– 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.
Copied from the appendix of “From Fear to Freedom” by Rose Marie Miller