Tuesday, June 14, 2016

What is a Blessing?

A question was posed at our writing group recently.  What is a blessing and what does it mean to bless someone.  I pondered that for several days and I offer you the following incomplete list as a definition and explanation, beginning with this:
Joy is the result of Blessing...Blessing the result of Joy.  
They are connected.  
You cannot have one without the other.

What is a blessing?
A blessing can be spoken.  
A kind word, an encouragement, a prayer. 
A literal request of God to bless someone.
A blessing can be an action.  
A kindness.  
Giving aid or doing a task for someone or even giving a gift. 
Giving what you have without need of reciprocation.  
Unmerited favor.

A blessing can be an offering of approval.  
A nod of agreement.  
The “yes” that causes a plan to move forward.

My favorite kinds of blessings are disguised.  
Circumstances that come to an unexpected end.  
The blessings that hide themselves in trouble or work where the result is unexpected joy.
The blessing of helping others…when you expect to be the one doing the blessing but come away feeling completely blown away by the blessing you unwittingly received.   
Blessings happen when you have an aha moment while doing a mundane task.  
An understanding is reached or a solution is realized.
Blessings appear through suffering, feeling the very presence of God as trials are endured.
The blessing of peace that passes all understanding. 

And finally, the blessing of forgiveness.  Letting go of the need to accuse – or   
Feeling the accuser drop his stones and walk away, regardless of my guilt.

What does it mean to bless someone? 
To bestow any of these things on another.
As I considered what blessings are, how we bless and receive blessings, it occurred to me that blessings abound where selflessness lives.  
That joy resides in thinking of others as more important than ourselves. 
Peace of mind is not found in our own minds...but in our heart focussed on others.
You cannot be a blessing to others, nor receive the blessings others would give, while gazing at your navel. 

Philippians 2:3-4 (NASB)
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

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