Blessings…what are they?

Scripture says, “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.” This is God speaking to Abraham.  Later, in Luke, Jesus tells us to, “Bless those who curse you.”

But, what does it mean, ‘bless’?  When we sneeze, we say ‘Bless you,’ or ‘God bless you.’  And often when saying bye to our loved ones, we tell them, ‘God bless you.’  So who blesses…us or God?

Well, both.  One definition of bless is to invoke divine care or to wish good health, happiness, and well-being.  We are free to wish good health to anyone we choose.  We can also ‘be a blessing’ to others.  This is an example of how God works through people.  When we can meet a need for someone, even if it is just to listen (which is more valuable than most people realize), we are being a blessing.

I, personally, don’t have an opportunity to be around loads of people, thankfully.  I’m not comfortable in groups.  Especially now that I don’t live in a predominately English speaking country.  But I still need someone to listen.  And I still have that desire to listen.  As an English teacher, my job was perfect.  Quite a few of my students even referred to me as their therapist, because they felt they could share anything with me.  My advice was generally questions – to get them to question themselves.  But it was a great feeling knowing I was valued in that way.  So, I was doing my job because they were increasing their English speaking skills, but it was so rewarding it is difficult to think of it as ‘a job.’  Anyway, now, when I meet that friend for coffee, or my husband asks what’s on my mind (with the intention of listening), I feel truly blessed.

God also blesses us.  The word bless also means to confer prosperity or happiness upon.  So then, why aren’t we all rich?  Why are so many people suffering with depression?  Why all the homeless people?  God is God.  He doesn’t have to ‘wish’ something, He can just make it happen, right?

Wrong.  You see, God gave us something called freewill.  That means it’s all our choice.  Our choice to believe or not to believe.  Our choice to bless others or not.  Our choice to love God or not.  And our choice to accept or reject God’s blessings.  They are there for the taking.  We just have to receive the blessings.

It’s like when you have a birthday party.  And all these magnificent gifts are wrapped with big bows.  The gifts are already yours, a tag with your name on it says so.  So, you take the gift, shake it a couple of times, smile at the giver and then tear open that box.  Before you even know exactly what the gift is, you’re already telling the giver thank you and showing your appreciation.

God’s blessings and spiritual gifts work the same way.  They’re wrapped up in a box with your name on them waiting for you to offer a smile at the giver, tear open the box, and receive that blessing.


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