Slave vs. Child

I was reading in Romans 8 for my LTG and really got caught up on verses 15-17:

15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.

I got to thinking about the stark contrast between being a slave and being an adopted child.

Slavery is absolutely deplorable in my opinion. When someone is a slave, they don’t have rights. They don’t get to make their own choices. They are told what to do and have to do so without question. They are not cared for. They are often not seen as human. (I don’t think you could treat someone that way and see them as a human being – they same creature as yourself!) They are seen as property, as a tool, an object. This verse says “fearful slaves”.

Contrast this with an adopted child. I have several friends who have adopted children. Those children are loved more than some people love their biological children. Those parents made many, many choices and sacrifices to bring those children into their family. They see those children as their own and never think of them as anything else.

A child who has good, loving parents is loved, not an object. A child has choices and is taught how to make good choices, not ordered what to do and used as a tool. A child is cared for. A child in a loving home does not live in fear.

This is what we are to be. This is how we are supposed to see God. Unfortunately, many have had childhoods and parents who don’t look anything like God. They haven’t experienced this love and guidance and acceptance. But that is what we can have with God! We all know parents or families who have this. We can look at that and know what it SHOULD be like – and God is that SO much more!

I struggle with fear. I always have. I have been facing that more lately, but it is hard. This verse tells me to not live as a fearful slave. I have a Father who CHOSE to adopt me as His child. He sacrificed greatly so I could be His daughter. I need to live as His heir. I get to call Him “Daddy” (Abba), not just Lord and Savior. He will teach me if I am willing to learn. I am not a slave, I am free, an adopted child.
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