” … I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”

Jn 10:10

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Is it not reasonable to think that these words tell us about what a whole human life is, what it looks like?  After all, Jesus is saying in this statement that he has come to give us a full life.

Well how does one understand this in greater detail?  So that we might know and experience a full life?

Psychologists and psychiatrists tell us that it is not sufficient to have a strong ego, but rather we must also come to know our self and in that come to understand the spiritual content of a human life.

Some identify this as the “hero’s journey” – a process of moving from our youth and its immaturity to adulthood and greater maturity onto a state of spiritual awareness (which supplies meaning and purpose and exceeds what is but material existence and its tasks and ways of being).

The whole human attains both psychological health and spiritual growth.

In the former one addresses life and relationships in a responsible way, with joy and in a manner that is self-fulfilling and satisfying.  The spiritual component of a full life leads to our capacity to affirm life day in and day out.

A full life both handles the task of living in a competent and satisfying way but also declares that life is worth living, a great gift.  A spiritually developed person sees life’s value in all circumstances and brings the joy of life to all things encountered.

To the person with this fullness – unconditional love is the cornerstone.  One who loves freely is one who is generous with their feelings, extends himself or herself to others in a generous way without neglecting their own needs and existence, their identity and responsibilities.

Too often we neglect ourselves in living, are coaxed by others into doing what they want to our detriment.  This is not life in the full, no matter what you give in the process – for no one can ask you to do for them to your own perpetual damage and neglect.

In living life as Jesus describes we are to know the sacred value of our own existence and doing so we find the gateway to the full life, and psychological health.

People, institutions and cultures can deprive us of our psychological welfare, and our spiritual existence as well.

As to the latter, cultures that shun faith are surely depriving the human person of the opportunity to full life.

Those cultures often attempt to substitute material achievement for full life and show themselves a failure in the serious, damaging, costly and dehumanizing personal and interpersonal problems they produce from excessive crime, to suicide, to unhappiness, addictions, broken families, out-of-wedlock births, depression and expanding dependency on the state and others.

Life in the full.  A birthright.

What are you doing to claim it?  What is your culture doing to insure it is accessible?

Shalom.

Prayer Request – Please pray for the Seiler Family of Indianapolis, Indiana, today.  Mom Karen Seiler lost her mother last night and prayers will be very helpful for her, her husband Tim and her son Mark.  Thank you.

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