A friend often talks about the abundant life the Jesus offers: “… I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10 NKJV). This has resonated with me as I seek to love, serve and disciple others as my Lord commands me to do.
What does the abundant life look like? In the white, middle to upper class, American church culture, we have our ideas of what that means. After all, we have been raised on the American dream. White picket fence, big yard, two cars in the driveway, two smart beautiful children that we tuck snugly into bed each night, fulfilling jobs, college fund, retirement fund, and so on. Granted, most of us don’t necessarily quite meet that, but you get the idea. Is that the abundant life Jesus talks about?
But what about others? What about the young single mom living in the inner city? What is the abundant life supposed to look like for her? Or the immigrant coming to America to find a better life for his family. What does the abundant life look like for him? How about further away? The young child in a war torn country who is now responsible for his younger siblings because his father has been killed and his mother died of disease? What could an abundant life look like for him? Or the teenage girl in the third world country who was sold into prostitution as a child by her father? What could an abundant life look like for her?
I’m currently reading the book “When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor” by Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert. As I’m reading the first few chapters, I consider my question, “what does the abundant life look like on (fill in the blank).” I have sought to help others in different ways, whether spiritually, financially, or with regards to health & fitness or eduction, but I often wonder, am I really helping? Might I actually be trying to create or shape people into my own image, whether it’s my own children, or those I seek to love, serve, or disciple?
What does the abundant life actually look like?
Because I get the feeling that it doesn’t look like what I expect it to look like. Obviously, the”right” answer is to look to Jesus, that we are to become like Him and help others become more like Him. But shouldn’t we be wary? Might our culture have distorted who we see Him to be? As I read this book, and study God’s Word, I hope to explore these questions. How do I I really “help” others, show them, lead them, point them, to the abundant life Jesus promises? And really, what will that abundant life look like on them?