Overcoming the Christian Misperceptions of What Blessings are All About

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One of the problems we face as we think about blessings is that Christian teaching and preaching have typically viewed the blessing as being about the receipt of material or spiritual benefit. As Kent Richards points out in his article on blessing in Anchor Bible Dictionary, “The primary factor of blessing is the statement of relationship between parties.” This has some pretty serious implications. What does it mean to ask God to bless us as Christians if the primary benefit of how God blesses us is the relationship itself? How can a rich country feel it is more blessed than a poorer country when the blessing is in the relationship and not material possessions? The same with neighborhoods and urban centers where the rich and poor live side by side.

It is extremely important as Christians that we get off the health and wealth bandwagon and realize that our relationship with God is THE primary blessing of the Christian life. All else is secondary.

Another thing that is important to realize is that when the relationship becomes the main focus of the blessing, not only does God bless us but we bless Him. Have a look at Psalm 103 and 104. In the NIV you see the word “Praise” being used over and over again but in the Hebrew it is the word for bless and literally reads, “Bless the Lord, my soul.” Ultimately the book of psalms is a book of praise but it must be understood that it is praise that comes forth out of one being in proper relationship with God and understanding what the blessing is all about. It is not that we have much to offer God but it does seem that God is blessed by the relationship he has with us because scripture is clear over and over again that God has a great desire for his people. Isn’t that something that by being in relationship with God you can actually bless him back and that he benefits from the relationship as well. How can I say that? I cannot say that if we keep on with the material view of blessing. I can say that if we view blessing for what it was meant to be – relational.

Blessing is not in the receiving. Blessing is in the being…being in relationship with God just as He designed us to be.

0 Responses

  1. Thank you for addressing this topic. As Christians we need to live as a blessing to God within our relationship. How did Christians fall into the trap of “God bless…__________”
    I have struggled with this for a long time and I think we need to continue the conversations to help get our theology in line with the Bible.

    Our prayers and life should not echo “God bless this or that, but God please allow us to be a blessing to others.” We are no more blessed or cursed than any other nation. God made it all and can take it all away.

    Someone who is blessed has an inner joy because of the glory and salvation of God, not through receiving of things.

    We are blessed when our lives are in accordance to Matthew 5:1-12

  2. “Blessing is in the being…being in relationship with God just as He designed us to be”

    Oooo – I like that.

    You could also say it this way: “The blessing is in the Being.”


  3. Very well said, Matt! Thanks so much for sharing that. I have long been struck by the notion of people being capable of blessing God, and your brief reflection really illuminates the concept. It is all about being – in relationship. Not so much about doing, giving, or receiving. I needed that today.

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