Yesterday at church, the pastor said something that I have heard numerous times growing up. He mentioned that we are blessed to be a blessing to others. Now, in a day where many churches are proclaiming that God wants to bless us with bigger and better, this seems to fly in the face of that belief and say that God has blessed us so that we may spread that blessing. It sounds a lot like that topic I speak and write on often of being a servant to others. So, what exactly does it mean to be blessed? A quick Google search tells me that the definition is:
“God’s favor and protection “
Interestingly, the word we translate as “blessed” in the Sermon on the Mount can also be translated as “happy.” But notice that missing from both definitions is the idea of prosperity and material gain. To be blessed by God does not mean that we will receive many things. When God called Abram, he told him:
I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.Gen 12:2-3
Abram was not blessed for his own gain or benefit, but rather to bless others and eventually the entire world. We must ask ourselves then, how has God blessed us and in what way are we able to bless others? Dietrich Bonhoeffer tells us in his book Life Together that at times the only positive thing a fellow believer may see or experience in a day is our presence. While we each have our own personal and unique way(s) we can bless others, we can always bless others by just being a positive presence.