In trying to nail down my dream, I started reading A Spirit-Empowered Life again. In chapter twenty, the author had bullet points on what that life looks like, relationships, passion, redemptive love, crossing boundaries, and how you can do it. I’m going to expand on them today.
What Is A Spirit-Empowered Life?
It’s a life with a deep passion for people that you connect with. You can’t stay on the sidelines when they need help. I connect deeply with but a few, and those I do I generally ‘adopt’. They become like family. I’m there when they laugh, listen when they cry, and watch over them always.
Not all relationships have to be that deep. Others I get concerned and help when life gets them down, reaching out when I see them outside our usual settings, or stop and listen when they have a burden to unload.
A Redemptive Love
What is redemptive love? It’s the love of second-chances. It’s what the Gospel is, the good news of God giving everyone a second chance to come to Him. You have to love someone enough to give them a second chance.
That flows into the expansiveness of it. We cross boundaries both real and imagined, like Jesus with the Samaritan woman, the leper, and the prostitute. He did, so our reason for not doing it is invalid. There is no reason for why you cannot reach out to the Middle Eastern man, or illegal immigrant. That person who has HIV, or the woman that people say is just no good, reach out to them too. We were once there at one point ourselves.
Take the first step. We do good for others first. It’s like seeing a mess, and waiting for someone else to clean it up first. You do it. It’s hard and we ask, “why should we?” Or say, “I can’t.”
The Holy Spirit is working inside the follower of Jesus, equipping us. Yes, it is hard to love first. For one, we don’t have any assurance of reciprocation. Secondly, we’re not even sure we’ll like them.
If you expect reciprocation, that’s not loving-kindness, that’s doing business. Just because you don’t know if you’ll like someone isn’t a reason either. We can be unlikable and incompatible, but being nice and doing good never goes out of style.
God loved us when we were living in rebellion, rejecting Him, and still a way was made for us. Can we do otherwise? I’ll close with the two questions the author posed to the reader:
- How does knowing God loved me first help me view the world’s needs?
- What would it look like for me to love people first?
Ask yourself that.