A while back I mentioned I was watching a movie by Louie Giglio who was talking about how people pray. One of the things he pointed out was that people always ask God to bless them in one way or another; Bless this food; Bless the hands that prepared this food; Bless this time we have together; Bless our conversation; etc. The list can go on and on. I began to look at my prayers and sure enough I was asking God to bless various things depending on my time of prayer.
He went on to talk about how God promised to bless Abraham and how we have been blessed through that promise. God blessed us when He sent Jesus to die for our sins. He doesn't need to bless us in any other way does He? Do we really need more?
I've been thinking about all the blessings God has given me over time and I can't possibly ask Him to bless me more. Then today I was reading and I came across this passage:
"Looking at his disciples, he said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.“But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort. Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep. Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets." Luke 6:20-26
After reading it I couldn't help but feel warned by the "woe to you" lines. We as Americans are rich, we (for the most part) as Americans are well fed, we who are Americans love to laugh, and as Americans we want people to speak well of us. While I know God blesses people with each of these things, I think the "woe" comes from the fact that our heart can be ever so consumed with these areas that they actually become our own detriment. In reality most of our struggles as Americans fall under one of those categories.
So back to the original statement. I do believe we have been blessed with many things as Americans, but those things oh-so-often have become our curse. Maybe our relationship with God would be strengthened if we weren't so "blessed."
Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians 6:19-20 NIV