Identity Found in God
The Father and His Child
The Family of God
The Father of Compassion
The Love that Endures
The Heavenly Home
Living as a Child of God
Living as a Child of God
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22
Living as a child of the Conns means certain things. It means opening up the pantry doors and seeing dented cans and taped cereal boxes because this mama saves money shopping at the Bent and Dent stores. It means limiting the total number of living things in the house to 6 humans and 1 four-legged creature – nothing more. It means most Friday evenings home-made pizza is served. It means you better be respectful, have good manners and keep your head on straight. It means don’t disturb your mama after 9pm. At school it means teachers look at you and say, “Oh you must be a Conn – you look just like your siblings.”
I could go on, but I’ll stop here, and recognize that some of our Conn children aren’t always satisfied with being a child of the Conns. One day, our youngest randomly declared, “Mom, I want to go live with the Coils!” After the initial blow, I could actually come up with many reasons a child would want to move in with such wonderful folks. However, when I asked him why, his answer surprised me, “Because they have donkeys and I love donkeys!” So there you have it! Life is good at the Coils – they have donkeys!
Living as a child of God does look a certain way. (I am so thankful our Heavenly Father functions much better after 9pm than I do. He is ready and available 24/7.) When you look through scripture, you can quickly conclude how our Father would have His kids behave. You will read phrases such as these in terms of what NOT to be: get rid of sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, greed, malice, slander and filthy language; don’t lie, or be angry… And then there is the list of the ways to behave: be compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, patient, bear with one another, forgive one another, love, be unified, be wise… The fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control should overflow in our lives.
There are definitely guidelines posted throughout the Word. We are told how to strive to live. Will we be perfect at it? Not yet, but we are to do our best in this life on earth. Will we mess up? Yep. But our Father waits for us to seek forgiveness and move forward.
When we made the commitment to follow Jesus, our “childhood” should look different. People should be able to tell we belong to Christ. They should be able to observe us and say, “Oh! I can tell who you belong to – You resemble your Father. I recognize you –– you must be part of the Family of God – Oh, I can see it – You are a child of God.” And THAT is what we are!
Maybe you’ve strayed from your Father. Read Luke 15:11-32 – the Prodigal Son – and know that when you choose to come home, your Father will run towards you with open arms. He will throw a party for you. Imagine someone you love so much – a parent, child, friend. Maybe they have withdrawn from you, and their choices have come in the way of your relationship. You long for what you had before. What if, one day, they show up at your door step and seek forgiveness. You embrace them, invite them in, and spend time catching back up, so thankful that this loved one of yours came back. While at times we might allow our human reservations to get in the way, and our human attempt to forgive fails. Or we automatically go to the past and remind them of the bad choices, and we keep things at arms length. But the father, portraying God, in the prodigal son story, reflects how our Father awaits for us, His kids, to run back to Him. It shows that He will not make you feel guilty for what you’ve done; He will not constantly bring up your bad choices; He will not keep you at arms length; He will smother you in His love for you. No matter what bad choices you have stepped into, God longingly awaits for you to return to Him. Simply come. There is a place at the table for you.
Soak in your existence in being a child of God, in being a part of the Family of God, unconditionally loved by your Father – a Father who has great compassion to share with you - and who is preparing a beautiful place for your homecoming! Commit to truly allowing your life to reflect living as a child of God. Ask your Father what behaviors you need to change. Let Him affirm other behaviors that please Him.