As is the case with so many things in our modern era, we have redefined what it means to be blessed. Most have come to equate being blessed with having stuff, possessions, toys, trinkets, and baubles which devalue over time, if ever they held any value, to begin with.
If we can afford the newest car or the trendiest clothing, or to shop at Whole Foods, then we consider ourselves blessed, and make sure everyone within earshot knows it too.
I live in a small town. The kind of town where most of the longtime locals know each other, and people still have conversations in the checkout line at the grocery store. Yes, the younger generation is like everywhere else, glued to their screens, drowning in their hedonism and self-importance, but the old folks still like to chitchat.
As I was standing in line last night, waiting to pay for a few gallons of water, I couldn’t help but overhear a conversation between two of the local ladies who had just run into each other. Even though I’d caught the conversation halfway through, it seemed as though they were trying to outdo each other in how blessed they had been of late.
While the first had gotten an increase in her Social Security, the second one was really blessed because her husband’s 401K was headed to the moon. New vacation condo in Boca seems to have trumped new car for the other one’s birthday, and each time the word blessed got wedged into the wording for good measure.
As is the case with much of society’s ills, I blame the church in no small measure for our lack of understanding in regards to what being biblically blessed means. Granted, it’s hard to sell a generation of excess on the idea that being blessed is not being able to afford the payments on a new plasma television, but rather being reviled, persecuted, and spoken evil of falsely, for His name’s sake.
Between the ‘look at me’ disease, which shows no signs of stopping, and most people’s all-consuming need to be liked by everyone, the notion that suffering loss of possessions, reputation, position, or influence for Christ’s sake is where true blessing lies is anathema.
We equate being blessed with the material world, rather than with the spiritual, and every time we happen upon Christian television we are reminded by someone who’s trying to talk us into sending them some money, that this is the case.
How have we gotten it so wrong for so long? Because we forgot what blessed means. When words lose meaning, we can interpret them whichever way suits us best. To be blessed is not to be comfortable, or to have excess, or to be granted your birthday wish at fifty. To be blessed, by dictionary standards, is to be made holy, or consecrated.
Makes a lot more sense when we understand the true meaning of the word, doesn’t it?
When you are persecuted for His name’s sake, when you are reviled for His name’s sake, when men say all kinds of evil against you for His name’s sake, you are being consecrated. You are being made holy. Therefore, rejoice and be exceedingly glad, because not only are you being consecrated here on earth when these things occur, your reward in heaven will likewise be great.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.