I am a very blessed person. I don’t mean this in a boastful way, and I’m not trying to compare myself to anyone else or to say I’m more or less blessed than anyone else. I’m just recognizing that I’m blessed. As I type this, I am sitting in my comfortable chair in my carpeted office in a well-lit room (which I illuminated with the flip of a switch) with the thermostat set exactly at the temperature I find most comfortable as I sip on my favorite carbonated beverage which contains ice cubes from clean, filtered water that I didn’t have to pump from a well or scoop from an unsanitary river. Later I will get in my full-size truck with more electronic gadgets than I know what to do with, and I will drive down a well-paved, well-lit road without fear (or even a thought) of being attacked or inadvertently triggering some type of explosive device, and I will arrive at my well-insulated, leak-proof home and will probably get some type of well-preserved food out of my refrigerator. And I haven’t even mentioned other stuff like TVs, microwaves, clothing, readily accessible healthcare, restaurants, or even soap and toothpaste. Do you realize that a majority of the world’s population does not possess most (if any) of what I have just described? There’s no doubt about it – I. Am. Blessed. And my guess is that most of you reading this right now are blessed too.
So what do we do with the blessings we have? Do we hoard them? Do we crave more of them? Do we feel guilty about them? Do we trade them in for “better” ones? Whatever we typically choose to do with our blessings, God calls us to do two things with the things He gives us.
#1 – Be thankful for them. When was the last time you stopped to thank God for what you have? I know many times I thank God with a blanket-like, all-encompassing type statement: “Thank you, God, for all my many blessings.” But I think we’re called to sometimes be specific. What are you specifically thankful for? What are some significant things God has done for you or has given you? Who are some people He has put in your life that have made your journey all the more enjoyable? List them out…and then thank Him for them. In Psalm 9:1, David said, “I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” I need to thank God for what I have, and I need to let other people know my God has blessed me. It’s not bragging – it’s celebrating the ways God has blessed me.
#2 – Use them to bless others. One of the reasons that God gives me what He gives me is so I can use those things to bless other people. When I choose to give my money, my time, my energy, my focus, my stuff to someone else, they get to experience God’s blessings as well…through me. The apostle Paul said, “You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God” (2 Corinthians 9:11). When I choose to be generous, people are thankful – but not just thankful for my generosity; they’re thankful to God…because of what I did. If you’re not in the habit, then start small: buy the coffee for the person behind you in the Starbucks drive-thru; rake the leaves in your neighbor’s yard; mail some “McDonald’s bucks” to that family with five kids; take some cookies to the local fire station. Whatever it is, however you choose to use it, just use something God has blessed you with to bless others. You’ll be amazed at how good YOU feel when you do!
I am a very blessed person. I have more than I need, and I am loved more than I deserve. I just want to get in a better habit of sharing that stuff and that love with others.