May 17, 2012

On being a blessing


Recently, I was asked to share how being a part of a mom’s group had encouraged me over the past year that I had been involved in it.  My immediate response was “I’ve been so blessed by it”.  I had been supported and loved on and prayed for and listened to.  I had felt cared for.  I had been blessed by these women.  Then I second guessed it and thought that the word “blessed” was such a cliché and I didn’t want to use it.  Then I felt bad for feeling like a word such as “blessed” would be considered cliché at all!  So I found myself doing a small word study on it.  What does blessed really mean…

Webster’s Dictionary defines Blessing as “the act or words of one that blesses” and “b. approval, encouragement” and “c. a thing conducive to happiness or welfare”.  It went on to give the following description “something that provides happiness or does good for a person”.  Synonyms were benefit, felicity, godsend, good, manna, windfall.  Grace, mercy, favor, kindness, advantage, aid, assistance, gift, help, relief, support, comfort, consolation, solace, delight, joy, pleasure….on and on.

All that for the word Blessing.  Quite a lot of definition for such a small word.

Which got me thinking…are we being a blessing to others?  Or are we so caught up in our lives that we forget.  It’s easy to do.  I’m guilty of it.  Are we so caught up in work, stress, day to day, schedules, running errands…that we forget to reach out and connect to people.  Not just on social networking - although it can be a great tool for that as well.  But actually reaching out and being a blessing.  Friends, family, and strangers alike.

Did you read all those words that being a “blessing” can mean?  We have so many options to choose from…

Showing grace.
Giving mercy.
Doing a favor.
Extending kindness.
Giving advantage.
Lending aid.
Offering assistance.
Gifting.
Supplying help.
Providing relief.
Sending support.
Comforting.
Consoling.
Creating solace.
Delighting in.
Expressing joy.
on and on…

Take your pick!  We don’t have to do them all at once – but look how many ways we can truly be a blessing to others!  It can be a small gesture that reaches out in a BIG way.  Just the simple act of expressing joy for others can really bless someone’s heart.  It costs us very little in the way of sacrifice – but it takes us out of “self” and puts our focus onto others.

My worries don’t seem nearly as large when I stop focusing on ME and start finding ways to reach out to those around me.

Have you ever had a bad day…everything is going wrong…and then the smallest gesture of kindness can turn it all around?  Your faith in possibility is restored and you find a way to keep on moving forward?  I have too!

How about when life seems upside down and nothing is going right.  Then you get a hard smack of reality when you see the struggle another is facing – and you realize “things could be so much worse”.  I can only speak for myself, but that has happened to me too many times.  Nothing like a nice cold dose of reality to cause me to sit up and stop moaning about my little problems.

The truth is, we are called to be a beacon on a hill.  A light in the darkness.  (Matthew 5:14)  Being a blessing to others should be a natural part of that light in us.  Reaching out, serving, loving – this should be like breathing. 

Be a blessing.  It’s not cliché.  It’s exactly who you were made to be…

Philippians 2:1-4
If you've gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don't push your way to the front; don't sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.


1 comment :

Niki said...

Thanks for the reminders! Focusing on others is a surefire way of seeing through all the junk of our selves.

BTW - you are a blessing to me!