Taking Ownership of Our Blessings!
This week we’ve encountered “blessings in disguise” which means those blessings were a surprise! I got to musing about blessings, and just how I receive them, perceive them, often totally miss them, and in the end-game, what I DO with them!
Here is Jesus’ words on the blessings from God in Matthew 5: 44-46 from The Passion Translation: However, I say to you, love your enemy, bless the one who curses you, do something wonderful for the one who hates you, and respond to the very ones who persecute you by praying for them. For that will reveal your identity as children of your heavenly Father. He is kind to all by bringing the sunrise to warm and rainfall to refresh whether a person does what is good or evil. What reward do you deserve if you only love the loveable? Don’t even the tax collectors do that?
This tells me that blessings from God bestowed on us are meant not only for us but to share with others. And this takes me to a story from a humanitarian group who wanted to help those with clean water and sewer in Africa. Their story is interesting. Read on and let it sink in deeply:
This village had a really bad water system, sewage ran through the area, the water was filthy and it created a lot of disease. Within a year’s time, the humanitarian group was able to raise enough money to build them a clean water and sewage system, at no cost to the villagers. When it was finished, they left but promised to return in 6 months to see how they were doing.
When they came back they couldn’t believe what they saw. The village had slipped back to square one with filthy water, sewage, and even more disease. The group asked why, and the chief was brutally honest in replying, “What did you expect? These people have lived many years with filthy water, broken sewers and disease. They do not own these new water systems you built, you did not ask them to participate in building them, so they could not be persuaded to maintain them. For them, it never did belong to them.”
It was a lesson for this group who now were even more determined to bring the people into this project and help them make it their own. The told them there would be two conditions to be met to finish the project: 1) the villagers would set up a payment system for their water; and 2) they would be taught how to maintain the system and the equipment. The people rejoiced and gladly jumped into the project—every one of them, including the children! They had respect, they had ownership and when the humanitarian group visited them over a year later, everything was working fine, disease from sewer and filthy water was gone and even more exciting?—the villagers were helping another village to do what they had done!
This is what happens when we take ownership of the blessings God gives us. Yes, God’s blessings are free and from the Scripture above, they are given to all, but how many of us take them for granted instead of owning them as a part of our faith life? Listen to the words of the Apostle Peter in his first letter (vs.4:10 VOICE)
Use whatever gift you’ve received for the good of one another
so that you can show yourselves to be good stewards
of God’s grace in all its varieties.
Sadly, many Christians have bought into the un-truth that God only blesses those who believe in Him, but Jesus’ words tell us otherwise. God will always be working on the sinner’s heart to bring them home to Christ. God uses all kinds of ways to do this as well—and that includes you and me! Own your blessings…because that is the only way you will be inspired to share them. Just think about the difference you can make in this world if you do so—AMEN!