Don’t you just love a good, humble brag? You know, the ones that can sometimes creep up on your social media timeline. The snapshots of luxury cars, designer purses, the newest phone, the newest clothing trend and so on followed by the #blessed. Well, brace yourself, because we are in full full swing of the giving and receiving holidays and the #blessed gradually increases around Thanksgiving, reaches an epic proportion sometime on or around December 25th & then creeps back up again around Valentines & then once again in April . You’ve been warned. Don’t say I didn’t tell you.
In all seriousness, though, it is a blessing to be able to give to others and to receive. There is nothing wrong with wanting to show how much you care for your loved ones by searching for that perfect gift for them. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being filled with gratitude over a gift you’ve been given. We should be thankful, that’s for sure. However, the “#blessed”, especially when it pertains to material things, should be used with caution.
What does it mean to be blessed? Well, Jesus Christ, the man Himself goes into great detail to explain to us what blessed means. The Message version spells it out plain as day:
3“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
4“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
5“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
6“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
7“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
8“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
9“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
10“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
11-12“Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even! —for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble. (Matthew 5:3-12)
Whoa! Did you get all of that? There are so many ways we are and have the ability to be blessed. What’s even greater is that none of those blessings can be purchased at your local mall or anywhere else. Listen, I pray that you enjoy this holiday season and that you’re filled with joy and laughter. But most of all, I want you to know that our true blessings can’t be found under a tree or in a red velvet box. In times of celebration, let’s remember that one act truly blessed us all– all year round: John 3:16:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
That, my friends, is something that I can definitely say is #blessed.