Finding Freedom from Other People’s Opinions

Erik Cooper —  September 19, 2011 — Leave a comment

I was smack dab in the middle of some quality mediocre banquet food Friday night when my text message alarm starting going off (yes it was on vibrate). My wife and I, along with a table full of friends from City Community Church, were attending the 2nd Annual Safe Families for Children fundraising gala (sounds swanky, doesn’t it?).

Even my borderline OCD personality can normally muster enough self control to leave the phone tucked politely in my pocket. But there was a lull, so I glanced (don’t judge me).

A good friend of mine was immersed in some intense Friday night reading and felt compelled to send me an excerpt:

“When we accept our core identity as Abba’s child, we slowly gain autonomy from controlling relationships. We become inner directed rather than outer determined. The fleeting flashes of pleasure or pain caused by the affirmation or deprivation of others will never entirely disappear, but their power to induce self betrayal will be diminished.”

-Brennan Manning (Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging)

I’ve been mulling these words all weekend. I scribbled them in my journal. There’s some deep, spiritual truth here. Truth that needs to move from thoughts on paper into the depths of our souls.

What do these words speak to you? Into the specifics of your story? Who is the foundation of your identity? Is it really possible to derive who you are from Christ, or is this just some kind of spiritual psychobabble?

What does it mean to be “Abba’s Child?” (And of course, feel free to throw in a few references to the 70’s Swedish pop band, we like that here).

I’d love to hear your thoughts and stories in the comments below.

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