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Monday, November 2, 2009

The Abundant Life: Where Has It Gone?

In the last several weeks I’ve encountered several people, some here in the community, whose lives are miserable. Much of their misery is caused by well-intentioned people in their lives who seem to think they know better “what’s good for them.”

A long time ago I learned that there are only three roles to choose from when in a relationship. One can assume the role of a child. One can assume the role of a parent. Or, one can assume the role of an adult.

Healthy relationships are adult-adult relationships.

Sadly, I am discovering that a ton of people prefer the parent role. Apparently it is easier and simpler for the many “bullies” out there to “parent” the whole world, imposing their notions on everyone. They would rather not listen to, reason with, or accept as true and valid anyone else’s idea, understanding, or preference.

I guess the parent role works pretty well for the “ones who think they know best.” But their bullying is misery for everyone else around, especially their family.

I have never met a grown up who appreciates the indignity of being treated as a child. I have never met a bully who is, even in the least little bit, ever satisfied.

Jesus came to break that chain of violence and oppression. At the beginning of his ministry, as recorded in the Gospel of Luke, he says,

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me… He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives … to set at liberty those who are oppressed …

I truly believe that if God could hate, he would hate bullies the most. Why? Because the misery bullies inflict sucks the ever-lasting life out of the souls of God’s beloved ones. Whereas Jesus, speaking of himself as the good shepherd, says,

“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

God gives life. The Gospel of John tells us that. Ezekiel 34 explains that God stands over against oppressors and bullies. Be assured of that.

May the oppressed reach out to Jesus, and receive him.
May those who live in misery find freedom to stand in the power of Jesus, and live.

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