How often have you described yourself as "blessed" or described America as "blessed by God"? How often do we pray God's "blessing"on so-and-so? This is a topic that came up in church yesterday, and the discussion blew my mind. It was one of those moments that made me take everything I believed about a topic and throw it out the window and start to look at what the Bible really teaches about being blessed and how I have (once again) been guilty of forming my theology from what I think instead of what the Bible says.
Let me quote some Scripture first:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. (emphasis mine)
Do you see what it says? We are blessed, past tense. We have already been blessed with every spiritual blessing that we need for life and godliness. So why do we pray for someone to be blessed more? They already have all the blessings they need!
I believe it is because we think possessions are blessings. Or peace and comfort. Ponder the starving believers in South Africa, or the persecuted church in China. We think we're blessed compared to them. We aren't suffering persecution or wondering where we will get our next meal. But does this mean we are more "blessed" than they are? Does God love us more than them?
Actually, we are blessed with the same spiritual blessings. My money and ease of life perpetually tempts me to trust myself or my husband's career instead of trusting God. Their lack of money perpetually tempts them to question "Where are you, God?" Really, which is more sinful?
In fact, our growth group leader was sharing about a book he read on the persecuted church in China (I wish I could tell you the name, I will if I find out!). It seems that the true church in China consistently prays for the American church. They perceive us to be infatuated with money and possessions and wonder how it is we can claim the name of Christ while loving our money. So we pray that they might have an easier life and they pray that we wouldn't have such an easy life. Ironic, isn't it?
Stop and take a moment to thank God for giving us all spiritual blessings and then stop and think next time before you pray that someone would be "blessed." Dwell on how blessed we are in Christ, instead of in our possessions.