>> October 25, 2010

The word “bless” has a myriad of connotations, thus winning the coveted spot of the letter B word for my Christianese series. Yes, I said coveted. Many words are just aching to be given the attention. Seriously, think about it. Blogs are intended to induce deep meaningful thoughts. Being highlighted in such a way brings attention to the words and could perhaps move it up the ranks of usage. After all, those who read blogs are often writers, scrabblers, deep thinkers...word users. Words want to be used. They long to be recognized for their true meaning and today I choose to honor the word “bless”. I suppose you could say I will bless the word bless.

Here are my thoughts on Bless.

My childhood pastor would stand at the door and shake hands with everyone on their way out. He always smiled and said nice things like “Bless you”, even if no one sneezed. It took me awhile before I realized he just needed to mix things up and bless you was an alternative to saying goodbye.

I’ve also heard bless you used as a cuss word. When I was hired at a coffee shop, the cook was afraid of me. She was a rough sort and I was a pastor’s wife. After a few days she came to me and said with all sincerity. “I’ve got a mouth like a sailor. I’ve talked this way a long time and I don’t think I can change, but I don’t want to offend you.”

Well this was quite a confession and a huge step in attempting to bridge the gap between us. I smiled and struck a deal with her. “If you can avoid saying the Lord’s name in vain and the “F” word, I think I can handle it.”

She liked the idea but for some reason didn’t think it was appropriate to do a spit-shake to seal the deal while in the middle of the coffee shop kitchen.  From that day forward she would abruptly catch herself and say "God bless it". To which I'd respond, “Amen.”

Then there is one of my favorite worship songs; Blessed be Your Name. Why is it that we say it bless-ed and not blessed? Do you go around saying “Oh I’m so bless-ed”?

Beware of those who want to bless your heart. *whispering* They really don’t mean it. This phrase generally follows some sort of story about a silly thing you’ve done, or a trial you’re going through. What they really mean is, “Honey, you’re dumber than a doorpost.” Or, “Isn’t your life just pathetic.”

Being blessed or receiving a blessing is a big deal. It's a sacred and holy request of God. We all remember the story of Jacob and Esau. The blessing was so important that Jacob deceived his father to receive it and Esau was distraught when he realized what happened.

Jesus tells us in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5) after a whole string of ways to be blessed in the beatitudes to   love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you. That’s no small task. It’s something that I’m personally challenged with. I've been pondering a couple verses that tie in with that command from Jesus:

James 3:10 says From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. It should not be like this, my brothers.”

Matthew 16:19 tells us what we bind on earth or loose on earth will likewise be bound and loosed in heaven. 

So, I wonder; do our words that speak blessing (sacred and holy requests) on others here on earth become loosed in heaven as well as words that curse? Truly, to bless someone means to ask God to protect them; to pour out good things on them such as talent, health, wealth, and wisdom.

It is generally believed that the positive things in our life are blessings (results of sacred and holy action to requests). No matter how rough life’s road is, there are always evident blessings along the way. Let me encourage you today to take time to count your blessings. Go ahead…name them one-by-one.

God bless you!

3 comments so far...Care to leave your thoughts?:

Rita's Random Ramblings 10/25/2010  

"bless someone means to ask God to protect them; to pour out good things on them such as talent, health, wealth, and wisdom."

The words us choose to speak are important. Thinking about James 3:10, it is important to not even think negative thoughts about someone or about their circumstances. You are of right about using the term "bless your heart."
Lots of food for thought in your posting today!

Hugs, Rita

Joanne Sher 10/25/2010  

This post was a FUN and informative (wow. You're talented, girl!) one. Loving this series. (and you!)

Lisa Mikitarian 10/26/2010  

A Bounty of info! It bless-ed me mucho. Not joking:)

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