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 [NIV]

Since we were born into this world, whether we know it or not, we have been trying to earn our worth. It’s not very obvious in our infant stage, but I can see it taking place in my son Brooks, who is almost two years of age. Without anyone having taught him, there is something in his nature that is already looking for our approval. He has all the right smiles, cries, tantrums,cuteness and, believe it or not, manipulation tactics to try and win Georgie and my approval as parents. What is even more fascinating is that there’s something in me that really wants Brooks’ approval of my fathering as well. I am no different to Brooks – for I crave the same need, deep in my spirit, to be loved and accepted.

All of us are born into slavery – the slavery of sin. As a result, our spirits are disconnected and separated from God, and we all work hard to find someone or something else to approve our worth.

Jesus reveals the unconditional love and acceptance we have from the Father. When Jesus was baptized, He had not yet started His ministry. Not one miracle had been performed by Jesus, yet when He came out of the water the Bible tells us His Father in Heaven said, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased” [Matthew 3:17].

When our faith is in Christ, not in our own works, we are set free from slavery for once and for all. Humility is receiving what Christ has done for us, rather than trying to earn our worth. We have been adopted; we were once orphans without a family, but now we are sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. Fear no longer motivates us because we have received His spirit of sonship that cries out “Daddy, Father!”

As I live as a son of God Brooks, I pray, will learn from my example that he does not need to earn his worth, but rather just receive this spirit of sonship through Jesus Christ. I also pray that I do not father Brooks trying to earn his approval, or anyone else’s approval, but rather I father from a place of knowing that I’m perfectly loved, accepted, cherished, and approved by my Heavenly Father.

Fear not today! You are a son or a daughter of God! Let this great truth change the way you worship, work, relate, and live today and every day.

// Josh Kelsey