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Freedom to Love

“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” Romans 8.14-15 As someone who’s never experienced the love of a father, the cry of the Spirit of adoption sounds like a voice in a foreign tongue. Fear, not love, is my native language. It’s hard for me to believe in God’s love or accept his grace. I try to earn it. And when I can no longer fool myself that I am a good enough person, I hide. When I do seek forgiveness, I try to find ways to repay the debt. When that fails, I cower in fear of condemnation. Fear, not love, also characterizes my relationships with people, especially Christians. Seeing them as God’s representatives, their rejection feels like his rejection; their judgment feels like my condemnation. That is the spirit of slavery. “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, bo…

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