Are You Flourishing? (3)
Here are two more areas in which God created you to flourish:
1) Your relationships. Relationally, your languishing self is often troubled. You’re undisciplined in what you say, sometimes reverting to sarcasm, gossip, and flattery. You isolate. You dominate. You attack. You withdraw. Whereas your flourishing self seeks to bless others. They energize you. You’re able to disclose your thoughts and feelings in a way that invites openness in them. You’re quick to admit your own mistakes and to freely forgive others.
2) Your experiences. God grows you because He wants to use you in His plans to redeem His world: that’s why you find Him changing your experiences. Your flourishing self has a desire to contribute. You live with a sense of calling. Indeed, your inner longing to become all you were meant to be is a tiny echo of God’s longing to begin the new creation. The rabbis spoke of this as tikkun olam—to repair the world.
Focused on yourself, your life is as small as a grain of wheat. Given to God, however, it’s as if that grain is planted in rich soil, growing into part of a much bigger project. Jesus said: ‘…Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces…many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life…as it is, destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal’ (vv. 24-25 TM).
‘…But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces…many times over.’ John 12:25 TM