Posted by gkaiser on January 18, 2007
What’s in a word? And does the meaning of a word really matter over/against experience? Perhaps one or more experiences bring fresh and real meaning to a word?
These are deep questions but in any case I have a simple comment and a simple plumb line that has served me for years and it’s based on the word “redemption”.
One way of analyzing the spiritual value of things is to ask oneself the question “What’s redemptive about this”?
Is there anything truly redemptive in my present attitude, this or that relationship, the media I’m taking into my mind, the stuff my eyes are viewing, you-fill-in-the-blank?
The core subject of the movie “Shawshank Redemption” and for that matter, many, many movies and stories is that of redemption. Interesting that even pop culture therefore raises the issue. It often boils down to personal questions such as “How can I change, what’s not only good, but best for me?” and the like. This is a common theme and one worth considering.
The basic definition of “redemption” relates to Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross for our sins which “redeems” us, bringing us into right and healing relationship to God the Father as well as one another. But there’s more.
Redemption has to do with the act of redeeming or the condition of having been redeemed, recovery of something pawned or mortgaged, payment of an obligation, deliverance upon payment of ransom, rescue, salvation from sin through Jesus’ sacrifice.
If something or some relationship proves over time to be something less than redemptive, I have found it best to let it go and sometimes to purposely avoid it. Why?
There is plenty of temptation in my life, plenty of things to take me away from God, His Word and loving, serving, God-honoring relationships. I just don’t need more of those!
There are those things, people and events which have helped my life be positively transformed in Christ and toward Christ. Some things prove spiritually and practically fruitful while others tend to simply gobble up my time, energy and seem to be if anything, more a waste than a service to God, others or myself, spiritually speaking.
Why waste the little time you’ve got on this rock tearing yourself down or simply passive to the needs in yourself, your church and this broken world when you can be effective in the plan of God to be an instrument of redemption?
What’s redemptive about “it”? I think that’s a question worth considering. It’s a question worth answering too.