Be a Blessing

Following up on my recent post about “Finding Fault” I sense that I need to further exhort you to “Be a Blessing”.

You would think that being a blessing is a natural thing for people to do. It is a joy to bless others. It is more blessed to give than to receive. When you bless others they love and appreciate you in return. You can even become famous by blessing people.

Yet, sadly, many people find it hard to be a blessing, even to their family and children.

Stern Exhortation

So this is a direct word to your heart. I am giving you a stern exhortation to BE A BLESSING!

Stop being stingy in your spirit and negative in your outlook. Stop spoiling other people’s happiness, raining on their parade, stealing their joy, finding fault and being negative about things.

Being a blessing is not just a nice thing to do it is God’s purpose in the earth in this generation.

Be Like Dad

Your Heavenly Father is a God of abundant grace. God pours abundant blessings on people who don’t deserve it. He brings rain and sunshine on everyone, good and bad. He allows us to enjoy life, from a good night’s sleep to the laughter of our children. We have flavours, colours, breezes, smiles, friends, views, sounds, and so much more to enjoy on a daily basis. Even the evil people are not denied these myriad blessings.

“But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:44,45

Calling for This Generation

I sense that God intends to open up fountains of blessing on the earth. He intends to open up millions of them. He intends that His people would each become a light in a darkened world, pouring grace into the lives of hurting, lonely, unloved people.

I sense that being a blessing is not just a nice idea or the right thing for Christians to do. Instead it is a peculiar calling on this generation of Christians. I believe God is calling men and women, youth and children today to become open wells of grace and favour into other people’s lives.

Please take this seriously. God is calling YOU to be a blessing. You are to become famous for your ability to fill others with joy, encouragement, faith, confidence, love, grace and blessing.

Commanded to Bless

You are commanded to bless others. You are even commanded to bless those who hate you and curse you. Imagine that. Your spiritual DNA is so full of blessing that even those who curse you receive a blessing in return.

“Bless those who persecute you: bless, and curse not.” Romans 12:14

This is particularly relevant to those I addressed in my ‘Finding Fault’ post, who use their poison pen to tear down and demean things, rather than to bless. You are commanded to be a blessing, not to be a destroyer and one who sows discord, separating people from things or others they would otherwise find blessing through.

Reversing Evil

A wonderful aspect of being a blessing is your ability to reverse evil. Rather than becoming bogged down in the mire of other people’s limitations, evil heart, negative behaviour and so on, you can actually overcome all of that evil, by simply blessing those who don’t deserve it.

The Apostle Paul, as he followed on from the instructions given in Romans 12:14 (quoted above) went on to elaborate and to point out that blessing those who curse us causes the good in us to overcome the evil in them.

“Therefore if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he thirsts, give him drink: for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:20,21

I Bless You

I bless you in the name of the Lord. I release God’s grace onto you and your family, your life and your destiny. Be filled with the fullness of God. Walk and live in the favour of God. Be brought under the mighty hand of God. I pray that the devil’s hold on your life be broken and that all that holds you back be cut off your life, so you can catapult forward into the things God has for you.

I release you to be a blessing, to bring favour, peace, joy and love to those who are desperate for it, but don’t know where to find it. I bless you with protection from moral harm and from the enemy’s destructions. No weapon formed against you will prosper. The Angel of the Lord encamps around you and delivers you.

Be blessed in Spirit, in Soul and in Body. Be blessed in your family, your provisions, your heart and mind. Sleep sweetly, speak powerfully, live joyfully, thrive in strength, reap the harvest of the earth and use it as a blessing for others.

Now, go and be a blessing!

Finding Fault

I find fault with those who find fault.

OK, so that’s an oxymoron, but I’m unimpressed with those who think their calling in life is fault finding. I’m sure for some it’s their favourite past-time. Maybe they find meaning and value in such things, but I can’t believe it’s good for their spirit.

The world-wide-web has delivered us the ‘world-wide-whisper’ – speaking evil of all and sundry. And the purpose is the same today as it was in the days when King Solomon spoke against it. Oh Yeah, King Solomon had a word about the ‘web’ before it was ever invented.

“A froward man sows strife: and a whisperer separates chief friends.” Proverbs 16:28

Perverse and Cruel

King Solomon talks in that verse about a person who is “froward”, translated from a root word meaning perverse or fraudulent. He is also talking about a slanderer or talebearer.

The purpose of such perverse passing on of adverse opinions is to create “strife”, such as argument, tension, disagreement, quarrel, contention, discord and division. And that’s what the web has been widely used for.

Opinion Fest

Everybody has an opinion. They even have opinions about other people’s opinions. The web has become an ‘opinion fest’ forum. Now, that’s great for freedom of speech, but it’s unhealthy in many respects too.

People speak from their heart, and the heart is perverse.

“O generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34

So the readily supplied opinions of people fit easily into Solomon’s category of froward (perverse) people sowing strife. And the gossip passed on about this one or that is devilishly destructive.

Poison Pen

In the days of snail mail the term ‘poison pen’ letter described a letter that passed on slanderous information to poison the opinion of the reader. Whether the information shared was true or not its purpose was not to bless and edify but to cause the reader to take offence against the person being exposed or accused.

Now, thanks to the wonder of modern technology, we can be baptised in poison, drinking it as readily as mother’s milk. Just do a search on anyone who has reached some prominence and discover to your dismay that a bunch of people are committed to tearing them down.

No matter how wonderful the preacher, politician, leader, businessman, philanthropist or hero there is someone in search of their dark side, ready to immerse us in a baptism in their negative opinion.

Shut Down

The problem is that negativity causes a shut down. It “separates close friends”. It causes something that was positive to wither and die on the spot. It is toxic. And it’s the devil’s favourite game.

As soon as you become negative about something you are shut down, at least to some degree, from the potential, blessing and benefit of that thing. I continue to be impressed with how effective toxic attitudes are.

I once bought a newly released translation of the Bible. I enjoyed its language and style and enjoyed reading my way through it. Then someone happened to mention that particular translation and gave a scathing summary of its flaws and defects.

I am experienced enough as a Bible scholar to know that no translation is perfect. They all have their limitations. I did not expect that version to be wonderful, but I was enjoying it. However, from that very moment of hearing the scathing put down I lost all heart for reading that version.

Building Walls

The negative comments built a wall between me and the book I enjoyed reading. A form of separation was created in an instant. And that’s what King Solomon described. The whisperer, the talebearer’s report, “separates” good friends. I was separated from the good friend I found in that translation.

And now we have millions of web sites, blog posts, forum articles and the like which are intent on separating people from things which someone has an opinion about. The addiction to finding fault has become an epidemic of offence, slander, false accusation, poison pen writings and baseless violence against the accused and those who would otherwise respect them.

Search Your Heart

If you are one of those given to tearing down others please take a moment to search your heart. Your pen is writing “out of the abundance of your heart” and it is showing your heart to be toxic. You will be a far greater blessing if your tongue and pen brought forth ‘sweet’ water, instead of the bitter water you are spouting over others.

If you are blessed with the capacity to write, why use that gift as a weapon? You are supposed to turn your weapons into farm implements that bring forth a good crop and a blessed harvest. If your tongue is a poison pen ask God to heal it and make it a source of life-giving water to those who have already consumed too much toxin.

The Lord is opening up fountains of blessing. It is His heart to bless, and to cause His rain to fall on the just and the unjust. Join the Living God in one of the most blessed professions you can ever fulfil. Join Him in being a source of blessing to others.

Bring out that which is good, noble, or good report, edifying, encouraging, enriching, comforting and God glorifying. If you find you must splash poison, then maybe writing is not your calling as yet.

Going To Court

I have been blessed by having little to do with courts and legal action over the years. However, I have recently realised that as a Christian minister providing support to many and varied people I need to think through some of the issues relevant to legalities and court processes.

I expect that in the years ahead I will assist people facing legal cases they have been dragged into. Many of those people will be ignorant of legal process and the issues involved, just has I have been.

The thoughts outlined here are just ramblings of someone coming to terms with practical, scriptural and personal issues that might impact people who are taken to court, even by their former friends, family or others.

gavel-judge

How To Live

Christ and the Holy Scriptures instruct us to be in honour with all, live peaceably with them, agree with them, let our Yea be Yea, love our enemies, be like God who sends rain on the just and the unjust, etc.

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:44,45

Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.” Romans 12:14

Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lies in you, live peaceably with all men.” Romans 12:17,18

Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be cast into prison.” Matthew 5:25

Aggrieved People

From what I see in the Scriptures, when someone has an issue with me they have the problem and issue, not me. They have something to resolve internally, which may involve external events.

If they think I owe them a debt, then their concern or issue can be resolved by a simple accounting entry, to write off the debt, sell the debt, forgive the debt, turn the sale into a gift, etc.

This isn’t to say that I want to do wrong and get off without accountability, but often a perceived debt or offence is not real. The person who feels offended, cheated, taken advantage of or otherwise wronged may not have been wronged at all.

Have you noticed that in legal wrangles both parties end up deeply aggrieved with the other. The whole situation becomes adversarial, painful and offensive. Some people press claims that are not founded on reality, yet they get deeply enmeshed in all the pain and agitation of that case, despite their own error in perceiving fault where it does not exist.

When people operate out of a context of grace all the tension and wrangling which springs from the anxieties of a person with wrong thinking are dissolved and everyone is happier for it.

Bless or Win

Picking up the command of Christ that we love our enemies and bless those who curse us we see that Christians are to be a blessing and to look to help others, such as by being a resource, one who gives value to others (a creditor), or a prosperous one who is a blessing to all the families of the earth.

Most people do not see themselves as a source of blessing and do not seek the context in which they can be a blessing. Instead they are led to believe that if someone else wins, they must have lost. They do not seek win-win, but win-lose contexts, and they fear being at the losing end.

This win-lose hardness of heart attitude leads some contentions people to prefer that everyone loses rather than being the loser themselves. They cannot suffer loss, give grace, forgive the offender, or have a generous spirit toward others. In some cases people have been known to destroy something rather than allow their adversary to have it, even though it lawfully belongs to the other person.

Before Getting To Court

Before anyone gets to court there are heart issues that come to the fore. Anger, offence, resentment, unforgiveness, jealousy, hardness of heart, contempt, and similar adversarial attitudes tend to lead people to court, either to press a case or to fight with all their might against an adversary.

Consider this challenging question from the Apostle Paul writing to the Greek church in Corinth about their track record of taking one another to court.

“Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because you go to law one with another. Why do you not rather take wrong? Why do you not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?” 1Corinthians 6:7

Initiating legal action means that Christians have chosen to take a hard hearted attitude toward others, rather than accepting the loss and getting on with life. Paul suggests that Christians should accept that they have been wronged by their Christian brothers, forgive and get on with life, rather than taking the matter to court.

I am not giving any advice here. I am simply raking over some things the Bible says about going to court and pressing legal cases. I am trying to think things through. Maybe you would like to add a comment to this post, with your own observations or questions.