I recently read The Supernatural Ways of Royalty by Kris Vallotton, a senior pastor at Bethel Church in Redding, CA. The book is primarily about how many of us don’t view ourselves the way that God does. But, that would be a simplistic assessment of the book. Vallotton shares his personal journey out of what he calls a pauper mentality and translates it effectively for us.
In his words, “a pauper is born into insignificance. As he grows up he learns through life that he has no value and his opinions don’t really matter. Therefore, when he becomes a king, he is important to the world around him but he still feels insignificant in the kingdom that lies within him. Subsequently, he doesn’t watch his words or the way he carries himself. He ultimately destroys the very people he is called to lead.”
We live out of how we view ourselves. We can’t help others feel valued if we don’t feel values. To steal from Henri Nouwen, wounded people wound others. Kris encourages us to love and see ourselves the way Jesus loves and sees us, then we will expect other people to value you and trust your words the more they get to know you. Therefore, we will act accordingly.
We did not create ourselves; God created us. We are the work of His hands. When we tear ourselves down or make self-degrading jokes we are not being humble. You are not just a worm worthy of nothing more than rolling in the dirt. We are no longer sinners. We are saints. We are joint-heirs with Christ. We are a royal priesthood.
This book attacks our view of self with enough force to change our behaviors. Vallotton states, “so much of the way we read and interpret the Bible has been affected by pauper mentality. When we feel small and powerless, we tend to dilute the word of God down to something we can accomplish in our weak state so we don’t feel convicted for not doing what’s required of us.” Paupers are afraid of failure because they view their identity by what they do. If they fail, then they are a failure. Pauper’s reason: God’s word says I am an overcomer, so I better not do something that makes me feel like a failure.
This is why so many Christians still struggle with saying they are not a sinner. They know they sin. But if you view yourself as a sinner, you cannot help but sin because sinners sin. But, just because you sin, it does not make you are sinner. God wants to re-wire our thinking.
I would highly encourage this book. It will challenge your thinking, hit you with surprising truths, and take you into a greater love our Heavenly Father.