20 January 2017

This 'n' That

I hate to say it, but there is a word that we as Christians need to stop using. Wait, scratch that. We need to stop overusing it. That word is: blessing.

Yes, blessing. I know, I heard you gasp. I hear you muttering under your breath, "Why, I'm not sure she's even a Christian!"

My guess is if you asked, she'd say she feels "blessed."
Listen, the next time you are in conversation with your Christian brethren, I want you to pay attention to just how often this word is used. Then I want you to truthfully acknowledge how often it is used genuinely. My unscientific guess is that, more often than not, we (yes, let's include all of us) use this word because we think we have to. We think that, if we don't call everything a blessing, people might think we are grumbling, or in sin, or not even Christians at all. Be honest—I'm describing you right now, aren't I?

The irony is, the more we use it, the more we sound like we are just trying to convince ourselves. "Yes, that splinter embedded in my finger was a real blessing, and it was a blessing when I couldn't find the tweezers to get it out, because then I was blessed by the subsequent pain. It was a blessing for me to realize just how much pain a small thing like a splinter can create. The blessing that came from the subsequent infection was blessed, too. Then it was a blessing to be able to apply antibiotic ointment, which in itself is a real blessing. That was all followed by the blessing of applying the bandage to my finger, which by this point was feeling like the most blessed finger any blessed person ever had."

I realize I may be coming across as a bit of a grouch here, and my example above is hopefully a bit exaggerated. We, as Christians, most certainly should be recognizing and acknowledging the blessings of God in all of our situations, both good and bad. Further, we should boldly and always praise and thank Him for these great blessings, again, both good and bad. We should proclaim the blessings of God to all who can or will hear. I do not deny this; in fact, I heartily commend you to do so daily.

The problem is, when we speak this way, if we do not genuinely believe what Scripture tells us, namely that all good things come from God and that even His discipline and trials are good, then others can see right through our hypocritical speech. Let us not be defined by hypocrisy, proclaiming our thankfulness for blessing through the lips of a forced smile. Are you in a trial yet you see the blessed hand of God in the midst of it? It is okay to declare thankfulness for that blessing through tears, and in fact you should. God sees our heart, not our play-acting. Don't patronize Him or His Word by pretending otherwise.

Sometimes it is enough just to know that He is good and gracious to bless His children.

With that, I hope you'll be blessed by the blessing of this blessed week in review (kind of):
  • Do not ignore those wonderful, aged saints that God has put in your life.
  • This is fantastic. I have been looking everywhere for a lily pad printed Bible that I can take with me when I go deep-sea diving!
  • Yes. I love seeing this.
  • Could we (should we?) ask for anything more than the Bible? (Psst! Ladies, have you registered yet?)
  • I remember a few years ago when these baby toys first became popular. Yuck! They are like little petri dishes!
  • Here's your weekly dose of adorable.
  • You know, I actually understand exactly what this is talking about. I mean, the Cubs won the World Series. The world will never be the same. Cubs fandom will never be the same.
  • I haven't watched this yet, but judging from the response on Twitter, this and the subsequent lectures might be worth a listen:

    1 comment:

    1. There was a woman at my former church who used to drive me crazy with her Christianese. Whenever I would try to have a conversation with her she would constantly interrupt me with "Amen!" and "Praise the Lord!" and "What a blessing!" etc. It was so annoying. One time I called her out on it and she was shocked. She thought she was just being "godly". I think we just sound like goofballs when someone is trying to express a thought and we keep interrupting them with that kind of talk. Better to just listen and then affirm once the person has completed their sentence. Also, it give unbelievers just one more reason to mock us.

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