What Is a “Blessing”?

Earlier this week I posted a question on Facebook:

If I could offer you your choice – if you’d just come to church just once – of either $1,000 or a blessing from God, would you come?

I got a few responses, but one friend, Michael Wheeler, decided to probe a little, asking if I could define what a “blessing” actually is.

The answer seems obvious, but how do you define “blessing”? That word is thrown around with no real meaning. – Michael Wheeler

I gave a typical tongue-in-cheek response:

True. I know a thousand dollars would surely BE a blessing right now 

Michael followed that response with how that he had asked “countless pastors and laypersons who overuse that word to define it, but have never gotten a satisfactory answer.” He then went on to say that the use of the word “sounds good,” but carries with it “no real meaning.”  “Other than salvation,” he proposed, “we have no other ‘blessings’ or promised things over what unbelievers experience.

Well, in fun I replied to Michael Wheeler’s question with:

Do you even own a box of crayons?

As expected (because Michael is usually a very serious kind of guy), he answered with:

Nope… Is that the extent of your definition of “blessing”?

That is when – after a brief distraction – I wrote the following:

No, not hardly. I got distracted by other things. I only asked that because sometimes I feel like you see things only in black and white – not as in truth claims, but in what you see. For instance, I never read fiction, but then I read “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”…it added color to the pallet of my spiritual imagination. Lewis didn’t teach me any new truth, but he added shades of color to what I could already see.

Much of what I would call “blessings” are those moments when the Spirit opens the eyes of my understanding and allows me to see the beauty of a Truth in a new shade. In some ways, it’s like God takes me into His art gallery and amazes me with a new painting of the same scene. I’m speaking in terms of spiritual imagination, of course… the box of crayons.

We are blessed every day by the goodness of God. That goes for everyone who enjoys the providential care of the Creator (it rains on the just and the unjust). But we are also blessed in that we have a Father who not only gave us salvation but continues to give us bread instead of stones. He is the one who will one day bring us close to Himself and share with us that little white stone with a name on it only the two of us will know – that’s true intimacy. So, many blessings are no less than those moments when we enter into worship – corporately or privately – and sense the real presence of the Holy Spirit reassuring us of the truth that He will never leave us or forsake us, that His grace is sufficient for every need. I could go on and on.

If I had the time to sit down do a more meticulous study of the definition of “blessing,” I’m sure you’d find the result more satisfying to your particular taste. However, what I’ve just described for you is the practical and real-world look at how I see it. Simply put, many times getting a “blessing” may be nothing more than being brought the realization of how good, merciful, and gracious our Father is. If He throws in a thousand dollars, well, that’s a bonus.

Excellent answer,” wrote Mr. Wheeler.

That’s why I thought it would be worth sharing with you!

What do you think? How would you define a “blessing”? 

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16 Comments

Filed under Church, Love of God, salvation

16 responses to “What Is a “Blessing”?

  1. An exact explanation one would seek for.

  2. evolution is a hoax

    Well I was shocked at the number of verses that came to mind. I did not know I knew that many about blessings. One thing is, We should bless and not curse, and Jesus removed the curse, he became the curse for us which in effect re-writes some of the past scripture making half of some verses moot. Here is the list of verses first in the order I remembered them.
    Eph 1:3 says God blesses us with all spiritual blessings it consumes most of the first chapter breaking it down and parses out the spirit of God given to us which is also a blessing.
    Titus 2 :13 The blessed hope of salvation reminding us of the future blessings and plans for us in heaven, the gift of eternal life.
    Numbers 6:22, the one Most pastors know, the lord bless thee and keep thee… etc. I love that one and its worth it to say it every sunday.
    and then the BIG one. It might start to become clear what blessing means.

    Deuteronomy 28:1-15 King James Version (KJV)
    28 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:

    2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God.
    3 Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.
    4 Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.
    5 Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.
    6 Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.
    7 The Lord shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways.

    8 The Lord shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
    9 The Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways.

    10 And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee.
    11 And the Lord shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers to give thee.

    12 The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.
    13 And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:

    14 And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
    15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:

    1 John 3:1 lets consider what Love God has bestowed upon us.

    then you could end in the hymn

  3. evolution is a hoax

    What you don’t know is that I have some sort of deficit in this area, So much so that I went for testing in my youth. Still today I couldn’t remember a name if it was told me 5 times. I literally had to look up to to see what your name was. I have so much trouble, specially when I am stressed. Literally I have been playing the Piano in morning church in the past and the song the whole thing is gone. I don’t know what key, or what song and have to listen to them sing to get back into it.
    Yet some how, out of it, scripture seems to come from a different place in my mind.
    I have meetings today with people to get support for this transitional housing for the homeless plan and I already know and have plans to tell them to forgive me for forgetting names. BUT, Thanks be to God for his blessings. God has provided a friend who is what I call my Liaison, who remembers every name, every phone number and what that person does. Who knows all kinds of Politicians and movers and shakers in power. And he is motivated to help.
    He /Doug, or as I say the Dougster, is a blessing. Doesn’t have my talents but he has ones I could only dream of.

    Yesterday when I was tossing things I found a curtain rod which I cut up for the job I am working on, it was brass with these large balls on the end, like a wand. And so I used it and I dubbed him, Knight of Transitional Housing for the homeless. All in jest but there was a moment of seriousness in it.

    So the thorn in the flesh, is a blessing, and God will supply all our needs according to his riches in glory. It might shock some, But you know. God gave you people, and people you. You are not random. You are a blessing for others. They say that there really is only one Mr. Right or Miss Right. And I get it. That didn’t work out for me. But if God has given you your wife as a blessing, Wow. what a Joy to know the love of God in that. Everyone may come with some issues, not as advertised, but Little is much when God is in it. Even Romans 8:28 -38 reminds us, there is a factor of blessing that with deficits its just fine. God means it for good.

    Who knew God was that fond of us.

  4. I have big sneezes. They hurt. Frequently, after a sneeze, when someone says “God bless you,” I reply “I wish He wouldn’t bless me so hard!” It has led to a few discussions like this one.

    Yeah, I basically define “blessing” the same way: “that which illumines our understanding of God and/or leads to greater worship. Sometimes, that comes through pain, sometimes comfort, and frequently both in some fashion.”

  5. hawk2017

    As you defined. People have needs that only God knows and this is why I say Blessings, which is God’s Goodness.:)

  6. To me the biggest blessing is knowing my God is in charge.

  7. hawk2017

    ‘Even If ‘ is very good. Thank you.:)

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