“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
John 10:10 ESV
This verse is one that has always stuck out to me in scripture. So often when Jesus makes a statement like this he goes on to tell a story, a parable to illustrate, yet this one he does not expand on in John 10. Yet as I read this within the whole of scripture, I believe that this idea of the abundant life that Jesus is talking about comes from living fully into your design. What it means to be fully human for me is not identical to what it means for you, but in each case it means living fully into our design. Our design to follow God fully with all of our lives, that His Word would be our foundation, our guiding force in all of our lives, that we would be salt and light to a hurting world, that we be in deep, meaningful relationships with others, and the list goes on. Yet Jesus says in Matthew 6: Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” I believe that Jesus knows well that this abundant life is one that few people, even few Christians will realize in their lives.
The obstacles to living this kind of life are in short supply. Why is it so tough to be radically obedient to God? It’s hard, and kind of weird. Jesus tells us that if someone hurts us turn the other cheek. You can’t do that, shows weakness, you need to let them know you are not a doormat, right? Why is it so hard for us to share our deepest dreams, hopes, and longings, even with those we love and trust? We fear rejection, we fear that it will change how they see us. We hesitate to share openly, because we want to get things just right, to be sure we are putting our best foot forward, and instead never put any foot forward. Dr. Brene Brown in her book “Daring Greatly” says this about getting things right, “I’ve never heard one person attribute their joy, success, or WholeHeartedness to being perfect.”
God’s promise is great, that we might have abundant life, full living into our design. Our passions, our dreams, our hopes, our gifts, and yes even our quirks. But for each of you, there are obstacles that sit before you, and living the abundant life. I encourage you to prayerfully consider what holds you back from the living the abundant life that Jesus promises to you. Is it perfection, fear of human approval, fear of failure, lack of trust, or something altogether different? May God give you clarity in this, so that you can live the abundant life that Jesus has promised to you.