Friday, February 13, 2009

The Heart of an Orphan- Part 3

Here is the second half of some of the various characteristics of the heart of an orphan. I am so thankful for my friend Mark Stibbe (author of an amazing book called From Orphans to Heirs) who gave us the idea of describing some of these characteristics through his own list of characteristics. Mark is a humble brother who speaks on the doctrine of adoption out of personal conviction since he himself has been adopted by an earthly father as well as his heavenly Father. He has recently moved into full-time ministry of sharing the message of the Father's love to God's people all over the world. He has a special place in his heart for Africa's orphans. Check out his organization (The Father's House Trust) and website at You will find New Hope Uganda listed there as one of their ministry partners.

INSECURITY: Tied into fear. A sense of feeling unprotected all the time and therefore feeling unsafe. The result is great care given to make sure that the heart is protected. A defence mechanism is constantly employed where one is quick to interpret what people say and do, whether in trouble or safe. One often reads intentions into statements and actions that were not there. Offence is easily taken where none was intended.

POVERTY: A feeling of constant scarcity that says there will never be enough even in the midst of plenty. The goal is therefore to get what is needed NOW, because what will happen the next day is unknown. The now becomes the focus without thought or hope for the future. Decisions are made based upon what seems temporarily best for needs in the moment. Hoarding becomes a lifestyle.

GREED: Tied into poverty. The constant need for more and more whereby the heart is never satisfied but is driven to be. Care is not given to whether others have what they need so long as individual needs are met. There is no consideration of others, or if there is it is only in what can gotten at their expense.

ANGER: Anger is always present in the heart because of what has been experienced in the past and comes out over even a small thing. It often seems like an eruption that has come out of nowhere, but it has always been there, only suppressed. Fighting at a moment's notice among children is a very common outflow of this anger that is constantly present in the heart. Another aspect is that there is always someone to blame for anything bad that happens.

INDEPENDENCE: The heart posture of doing what is desired without being questioned. If questioning comes, then rebellion will follow. Things have to be done “my way” and anyone who gets in the way of that is an enemy. Accountability is rejected and life is lived according to what is best in one's own eyes.

STRIVING: This defines life. Since there is no one that cares, one has to do what it takes to make sure that things will work out for good. One will try at all costs to do anything possible to make life better, even overworking, yet without finding satisfaction in it. Often, identity is tied into what is being strived after. The need for success can even be with an attitude of revenge- “After I have succeeded then those who have rejected me will turn back to me and I’ll get them back!” One's value is attached to the accumulation of what he or she has.

ESCAPE: Pain in the heart leaves it continually unsatisfied. Therefore the heart seeks satisfaction in things that give it temporary value or identity- things like sports, drugs, sex, and alcohol. At times the false world created by the heart can be more real than the painful one that is a reality, and thus the false reality is sought after at all costs and at all times. In the West, entertainment, video games, pornography and the internet become some of the favorite modes of escaping reality in addition to the ones listed above.

The picture above is the family that we work with here at New Hope called Samuel Family.

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