THE ABUNDANT LIFE

Let’s go back to the beginning…psychologists tell us if we are truly going to understand ourselves, our motivations, our behaviors and understand why we do what we do and why we need to do what we do, then we need to explore our childhood years. In other words, we need to better understand our initial and formative years in terms of our relationship with our mother in the first two years, with our parents, with siblings and with other family and friends. It is these years, along with our genetics, that set our thinking, temperament and most of our behavioral patterns for life. So, if we are to really be insightful about ourselves, we need to have at least a basic understanding of these years.

This is true in the bigger picture of our lives as well. Starting back at the beginning of God’s story in Genesis, there are two main points that stand out. One is that people have a desire – even stronger than that – a need to know others. This drives us to develop relationships with others. Some of these relationships are fairly superficial like acquaintances; and others are very deep like sibling relationships, marriage and parent-child relationships. There is an equally important need and that is for us to be known by others. Even shy introverts have a deep desire to be known by another human being. They may have trouble putting themselves out there and they may feel awkward revealing themselves, but every person has this need built into them.

Where does this need come from within all of us? I believe the answer is from God – the One who created us and designed us. It says back in the beginning, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female, he created them” (Genesis 1:27). I get the distinct sense from reading just the first three chapters of the opening book of God’s story that He deeply wants to know us and that He wants to be known by us. I believe this need in God led Him to create us humans with this same capacity and need to know Him and to be known by Him. It is a two-way street – it is really a two-way relationship…knowing God and being known by God. Many, if not most of us are on a search to know or discover God. But have you ever stopped to think that God is equally wanting to know you? While you might say, “He created me so He already knows everything about me so that isn’t true.” But I’m talking about a different knowing here. It is in a relational way. It is you revealing your weaknesses, vulnerabilities, your dreams, your broken-heart and the things deep in your soul. Sure because He is God He already knows these, but that would be missing the point. It is like when you are in an intimate relationship with another person – while you may already know something very personal about them; it is about them sharing it and then talking with them about it. This is the stuff that develops intimate and deep relationships. It is this that takes a relationship from superficial to being deep and authentic.

It is this kind of relationship that God draws us to and invites us to partake of with Him – one that we can be totally honest about ourselves…that we don’t need hide any aspect of ourselves from Him out of fear of condemnation or rejection…that we will be loved the same for what is good and bad about us. When we have this kind of relationship with God, we become free to be who He created us to be. It is in this freedom that we experience a healthy life or as Jesus said, the Abundant Life.

Jesus wants you to get to know Him. He equally wants to know you. Jesus put it this way: “I have come that you may life and have it to the full” (John 10:10). I invite you to open up to Jesus and allow Him to get to know you, one day at a time. See you next time!

Bob Mlynek