Holistic Redemptive Living
I don’t know about you, but I am shocked sometimes at how quickly my heart and mind wanders from the heart and mind of my Lord and Savior. At times the way I think, the way I speak and sometimes the way I act are so far from the ways of the Lord that it would be hard to differentiate my behavior from someone who does not know Christ as Savior. But, as brokenness finally arrives and I humble myself before the Lord, the Lords grace, mercy and forgiveness overwhelm me, and I continue on this journey of life. I suspect this is true for you as well.
Having received such abundant grace and mercy in my life through Gods redemptive work on the Cross, I am compelled to treat the world around me in the same manner. This causes me to consider how my heart, mind, tongue and actions are reflecting the very character of Jesus. Are they redemptive in nature?
A redeemed heart knows and understands the depth of one’s sin and the completeness of God’s forgiveness. My mentor and dear friend Dr. Victor Matthews told me once, “ We each have unlimited potential for evil, but, because of Jesus we have unlimited potential for good.” I know this is true by what I experience in life. Realizing this truth, I can proceed with hope believing God will transform me from the first potential to the latter. When the heart goes through the redemptive process, it sets the course for the mind, tongue, ears, and hands.
Redemptive thinking is birthed from a redeemed heart. How I think about other people establishes the base from which all of my other actions take place. Do I have love for those who speak poorly of me? Am I concerned for the eternal life of a person more than getting my way? Everyone has a story of why they believe the way that they do. Do I seek understanding before I make a judgment about a person who seems so different than me? I know I need to be thinking redemptively about all those I interact with daily!
Redemptive speech flows from the heart and is then intentionally delivered from the mind. How I think is often reflected in the words I choose to communicate to another person. Scripture declares that the tongue is powerful and is able to deliver life or death. I make this choice every time I open my mouth! Apart from my actions, this is the single most powerful way the world will know Jesus, or not. I must choose my words well so that everyone listening will hear Jesus. Being intentionally redemptive in my speech is keeping Christ on the throne and His kingdom as the goal, not myself.
Redemptive hearing is very unique and almost totally absent in our world. It’s a form of selective hearing. This is when I choose not to listen to any unwholesome talk no matter who is speaking. This can be awkward at times, but necessary if I am to become like Christ! Walking away from conversations that do not reflect Christ can be very freeing and powerful, not only for myself but also for those observing. Redemptive hearing also helps clear the mind of rubbish. Healthy minds take healthy things in it. The opposite is true as well. When I can’t walk away, I ask God for Holy ear plugs!
As I work on bringing every aspect of my life into submission to Christ, and allow His redemptive work to impact each area of my life, my actions will respond accordingly. Redemptive action by God’s people is what the world is desperate for. It is beyond time for Gods people to act unselfishly, sacrificially, and with redemptive intent. God’s people can change the world for His Glory! Do you agree?
This is but a very brief discussion on these vital areas of the Christian life and the culture of life. I will be writing more on these areas in months to come. Your thoughts are very welcome!