What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. Galatians 4:1-2 (NIV).
Let’s talk about being a slave. About thinking you’re more than you are. If you read my post from yesterday, you (rightfully) might have gotten the impression that I sometimes think I’m more than I am. It’s true. I sometimes think what I do and say is more important than it actually is. My work is great; I do great things. So do most people, though. I was passed over for a promotion and maybe, just maybe, that was the right thing for the company to do. The best lesson I can draw is to find my meaning in Jesus and not in a job, this blog, or anything else.
In this, I’m like an heir. I’m like the second and third-tier generations of families whose vast fortunes let them think they are better than anyone else; hello Disney family, hello Walton family, hello Hilton family; hello me. The underage members of wealthy families are no better than the employees, even servants, of the places where they live and work. They are subject to trusts, guardianships, and legal relationships that preserve their status as heir but, in a way, deny them the full independence that comes with someday actualizing their inheritance.
What Paul is saying is that, when we lived without faith in Jesus, we were poor heirs. We were like an heir or heiress to a vast fortune, living off the family name. We were on the family tree, but we didn’t get the benefits of it. We had the promise of the inheritance (because the hope of Jesus is a promise of real salvation) but hadn’t yet taken possession of it. To end the analogies, we’re like the 4th or 5th Duke of Whateverdom: we get the family name without the biggest perks.
Coming to faith, or being brought to faith, changes that. In that moment, we realize the inheritance that is faith. We have been made adopted princes and princesses, modern saints, by the redeeming life, death, and resurrected life of Jesus. He took our low-level ignominy and made us into His heirs. We don’t become God; only He is God. But we are made to be His brothers and sisters, friends and compatriots, disciples and teachers of His love. We might still look like stones in the road but, in reality, we’re transformed into integral parts on the path of salvation. We become part of that path He leads folks on. He makes us slaves to His righteousness instead of slaves to the dead-end destination of sin.
For further reading: Romans 6:15-23, Galatians 4:3
Lord Jesus, all praise to You! You made me an heir in You.
If you’d like to know more about Practical Proverbials, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information