While working in a coffee shop last week I accidentally overheard a Christian conversation unfolding at the table next to me between five girls. I must have heard the word “blessed” about twenty times, which is what made my ears perk up in the first place.
At first I was pumped the girls were talking so openly about Jesus and church, but the conversation quickly went a little south when they started referring to their many pairs of shoes, their new sports cars, their recent shopping splurges, and their upcoming friends vay-cay to Vegas as, “God’s blessings” on their lives. It was hard to listen to, and in fact, I was so upset, I left.
Perhaps I should have kindly leaned over and asked them to help me understand the Beatitudes, cause something wasn’t adding up, but I didn’t. Instead, I chose to leave and take a hike through the mountains so I could ask God why my heart was so bothered by what I had just overheard.
He spoke loud and deep. It hit me raw and true.
But before I share that insight, allow me to say this: I don’t share today’s devotional as a way to draw attention to the specs of dust in those girls’ eyes. Quite humbly, I share it because, what Christ revealed to my own heart during that hike was this: the plank of wood in my own eye is so much larger.
So here we go:
What does it mean to be blessed?
- Blessed are those who are directed by God’s law, whom he disciplines – Psalm 94:12
- Blessed is the man who fears the Lord and finds great delight in the Lord’s commands – Psalm 112:1
- Blessed are those whose ways are blameless who walk according to the law of the Lord… blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart – Psalm 119:1-2
- Blessed is he who has regard for the weak – Psalm 41:1
- Blessed are they who maintain justice, who constantly do what is right – Psalm 106:3
- Blessed is he who is kind to the needy: sharing food, lending money, defending rights and showing kindness… such a person honors God and will lack nothing – Proverbs 14:21
- Blessed is the man who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it and keeps his hand from doing any evil – Isaiah 56:2
- Blessed is the man who puts his trust in the Lord – Psalm 40:4
- Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have come to know the Lord as their deliverer and sustainer – Psalm 84:5
- Blessed is he whose hope is in the Lord – Psalm 146:5
- Blessed are all who wait for him – Isaiah 30:18
- Blessed are all who take refuge in him – Psalm 2:12
One thing is for sure… the way society defines a life of blessing and the way the Bible defines it are quite different, aren’t they? I can’t help but wonder, has the definition of true biblical blessing become overshadowed by our North American need for materialistic comfort and security? This very question is what caused me to sit in broken repentance on the edge of a mountain for hours weeping.
But the biggest thing I was reminded of during my hike, was this:
Yes it’s important to define a life of blessing the way Christ defines it in the Bible. Yes it’s important to stop from time-to-time to re-remind ourselves about what the Bible actually has to say about such definitions, ideas, concepts, and beliefs. But more importantly, and this is the hardest part, it’s farrrrrr greater and of much higher importance to Christ that we actually live it out – to apply the truth of His Word to our every day lives EVEN IF, AND EVEN WHEN, it is not trendy, or popular, or cool, or fashionable, or fancy, or glitzy, or culturally accepted by the standard of our wealthy and materialistic North American society.
So try it. Try thinking differently today about how your life is truly blessed.
“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.” -Jeremiah 17:7