I spent some time the other morning meditating on the idea of “blessing.”  Take a moment and think about that word before you continue reading. Probably each one has their own opinion of what this concept means.  Probably, one of the initial thoughts you had went directly to money.

As Jaclyn & I experience Journey Church and what it takes to help build a church from the ground up, I have, again, begun to rethink many philosophical ideas the church has.  In our Western-American mindset, the first thing we think of in regard to blessing is, “more money.”  Often times when we think of “blessing” from God, we think of life being a bit easier.  But is that what it entails?  What if hard, difficult situations become a part of your life…are you blessed rather than cursed? Is a blessed life supposed to be an easy one?

Let’s be honest, we know that we can’t take material possessions with us after this life is over, but for some reason Christ-followers want nice material possessions as much as someone who isn’t a Christ-follower. Is it wrong to want nice things, no, I don’t believe that. But do we really need the things we say we want most?

People often think of more money, bigger houses, nicer cars, better toys, etc, etc, etc.  But…really?  Is that what it really means to be blessed?  In regard to material possessions, I’ve said & heard people say, “Well, I’ve been so blessed!”  But what if you don’t have those kinds of things?  What if you don’t have a nice car, a nice house, a fancy new electronic toy…what if you live in very poor conditions?  What if you have a car that barely makes it to work each day…but it still gets there?  Is that blessed? Can a poor farmer in Russia who barely feeds his family be considered “blessed” of God by “American” standards? I would say, unless we reshape our ideas of blessing, that man would not.

I’ve read in fiction & non-fiction books this same idea: “What human beings want the most usually will kill them or is what they need the least.”  Somehow we have equated success & nice-grandeur items with blessing.  I am reminded of a quote, that has become my life.  Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel once said, “I did not ask for success, I asked for wonder.”

I recall what James said, “Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds, b/c you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverence. Perseverence must finish its work so that you may be maure and complete, not lacking anything.”  Perhaps a blessed life is not only a simple one, but one that we face trials in order to develop us to be who God wants us to be.  I believe that God cares more for our character, than for our possessions.

Take a moment to think about your life. Are you blessed…or are you “blessed?”