More Capable Than You Know

I want to stay in the same stream of thought that begin in yesterday's post. Not only are we blameless before God, but Ephesians 1:5a tells us that “In love He predestined us for adoption to son-ship through Jesus Christ. ” This tells us something very different than the lie that says, “I’m a dud of a human being.”  Those of us who are convinced of this lie can easily conclude we cannot be trusted to handle anything important. This is not God’s estimation of us because God adopted us to “son-ship.”  When we hear adoption we think of the adoption of tiny infants as we understand it in our 21st century culture, but that is not the concept being communicated in the text.  In the original language the word adoption is a compound word that together means “placed or appointed son.”  In the Graeco-Roman world, adoption was the placement of an adult into a family in order to carry on the family name and family business. A couple without children, who wanted to carry on their name and business after their death, would adopt a mature adult they found to be capable and trustworthy. Historians tell us that at times the Roman Senate, who didn’t trust a Caesar’s natural children, would plead with Caesar to adopt an heir from the many qualified and trusted Generals in the Roman army to be the next Emperor.  This would have been perfectly legal to do in the first century. This is what “adoption to son-ship” means. God has a choice to view us in one of two ways. He can view us as toddlers who cannot do anything for ourselves or do anything right. Or, He can view us as mature, capable, and trustworthy adults to whom He can entrust His family name and family business. According to Scripture, when God looks at His children of faith He’s thinking, “I chose you in love because I know that you are capable and trustworthy to represent my name and my business on planet earth.”  Thus, when God looks at a believer He sees a child who is capable and trustworthy.There is something called the “social mirror effect.”  The social mirror effect originates from the brilliant mind of Goethe and it states, "I am not who I think I am, and I am not who you think I am, but I am who I think you think I am."  This social mirror effect tells us that who we are and what we become is not as shaped by our own thoughts about ourselves as we would like to think.  Nor are we as shaped by what people actually think about us.  Who we are and what we become is largely shaped by what we think the significant others in our life think of us.  This means if someone is important to me and I think they don’t trust me, then I’ll actually start to believe that I’m not trustworthy.  If you are significant to me and I’m convinced you think I’m a failure, then I’ll start to believe and act like a failure.With this in mind now consider a profound new idea. “I am what I think God thinks I am.” Most of us are bound by our deep suspicion of God.  We think God thinks, “You’re a failure, a nuisance, and an untrustworthy project!”  Nothing could be further from the truth.  God is convinced we are more capable than we believe we are.  God knows we are so capable and trustworthy that He can entrust His entire mission of blessing others and building out His kingdom, one act of love at a time, into our hands. Can you bring yourself to really believe this biblical reality?