Do good in God’s eyes so that he gives you a pat on the back by blessing you. You, therefore, have a better, happier life. Your emergency plan grows, your retirement grows, you get a nicer house, better clothes, etc, etc, until we are sated and happy. That’s the American way right? Even the American, even Christian American, way, right? I’ve been guilty of thinking this way but I’m becoming more and more convinced we’ve got it wrong.
I think the American way gets us all tripped up because we assume first of all that our blessings are contingent on our actions. Look, I know a lot of people that are good, good people that have hurt really, really bad. It’s not Biblical to say our actions determine our blessings. I mean, I know there are natural consequences and all and God’s ways do keep us out of a lot of those. Until they don’t. Just take a look at Job if you want a Biblical example.
Blessings come and they go. I don’t know why He chooses to bless us sometimes and other times we are hurting more than we can bear. But somehow we think our blessings are meant for us to make us happier. Period. But I think that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The real blessing comes when we take that and then connect it to God’s purpose. He wants to bless us so we give him all the glory and men may know him. And in fact, it is in the hard times when he wants us to glorify him too. I think the list should look more like:
- Accept pain and blessings
- Give God glory in all
- Others see God at work
I love the closing paragraph of Chapter 4 which is part of an email from Jamie, a lady who had just returned from Guatemala:
All my life I have completely disconnected God’s blessings from God’s purpose, and now I realize what I had never seen. God has blessed me to show his love to Domingo. God has blessed me to show his mercy and grace to children in Guatemala. This is why God has given me income and education and resources. God saves me so that the nations will know him. He blesses me so that all the earth will see his glory!
So the question of the day is how do we use our blessings…income, education and resources so that nations will know him? Well, thankfully, we’re only on Chapter 4 and there is more to come!