The greatest enemy of the church is stinking thinking. I am not referring to the sinful thought patterns that automatically jump to mind like lust, pride, hate, etc. No, I am referring to the mindset of a son or daughter of Christ who thinks like a slave, an orphan, or a victim. I am speaking to a gross misunderstanding of our identity in Christ. Most believers live out their lives guided by the mentality of a slave rather than the mindset of royalty. Yes, we are royalty—blue bloods—princes and princesses—in Christ. Stinking thinking is sinful because it causes unbelief in the children of the King and ultimately cripples their understanding of who the Father is. If my view of God is lame, my life will limp as well.
A Christ-follower is a child—a son or daughter—of God. We have been born a second time—born of the Spirit and Father God has adopted us into His family. God is secure and satisfied in the identity of His kids (He knows exactly who they are), but He doesn’t seem to be getting what He paid for.
Instead of men and women who live out of the abundance of His infinite grace, most believers have been taught, accepted, or defaulted to a line of thinking that stinks. We talk of grace and believe it is essential for salvation, but once that spiritual birth has occurred, most trade the freedom of grace for the bondage of law in an attempt to live out the Christian life. Instead of a dependence upon the Holy Spirit, we revert back to believing that the good works we do in the name of Jesus and the strength of our willpower against sin will garner more of God’s love and favor. All this mindset earns is a strong dose of discouragement and a feeling of failure or a self-righteous dose of Pharisee-ism.
Let me give you some common examples preached from pulpits and taught by teachers across the spectrum of our faith. Read you Bible! Pray! Witness! Help the helpless! I could go on and on. My point is, these are critical things for every Christian to do, but doing these things does not make you a Christian, and they don’t earn you one more dime’s worth of God’s love. If you find yourself doing them to earn God’s favor, love, or approval—that’s slave thinking. The mindset of a slave is to obey his master to earn his approval. If you are a son or daughter of the King, you have His complete approval—right where you are. That approval—that love—is unconditional (it has no conditions you have to meet to receive it). You do those things as acts of love not as tasks to be rewarded or as a means of survival.
Your encounter with the saving grace of Christ earned you an eternal and abundant identity in Christ. Slaves seek approval with their service. Sons and daughters live out their approval through their service. One acts out of love and the other fear—one out of gratitude and the other out of debt. Children learn to “be” and slaves learn to “do.” And most are living this indescribable life they’ve been given at mock speed like slaves destined for the trading block instead of royalty in training for rulership.
Just a note: the devil loves “doers” and will turn them into pack mules if possible. And this is the mailing address for most of God’s kids. They have never taken a moment to check out their spiritual birth certificates, so they think this garbage is what their heavenly Father expects. They’re living in Satan’s stable instead of the King’s castle.
Just for the record, this is not what God expects! How do I know? He told me so in Christ! It’s high time we all exorcise, fumigate, and otherwise eliminate this kind of stinking thinking.