As of late, I’ve been thinking in terms of blessing and cursing. Am I a blessing or a curse to my husband and daughter? Are they refreshed by me or drained? Would they rather run into my presence or flee it? What can I do to bless those closest to me and those I come into contact with? I have to think of intentional ways to bless others because I am naturally inclined to look after my own interests and try to attain blessings in my own strength.
Blessing or cursing also seeps into our circles of influence. Do people seek to be around me or do they find ways to avoid me? Each one of us has weak areas. Some of us are impatient and lash out easily; others of us don’t speak up when we should. Some of us come off as opportunistic–using others when we believe they’ll advance our purposes. People pick up on that.
The question is, are we blind to those weaknesses? Do we push others away when they try to carefront us? Or are we teachable, willing for the Holy Spirit to conform us into the image of Jesus?
Each one of us has many strengths. The question is, are we using those strengths or are we too fearful to use them? Fearful because we are scared of what others will think? At times, I back off with my gifts because I am a woman and my gifts aren’t welcomed in certain circles. Sometimes I back off because people are clear they don’t want what God has to offer through me (if I were a man, it’d be another story). But doesn’t Scripture say “he spread his gifts abroad?” You and I are robbing people of the blessing God has for them when we let fear or circumstances keep us from using the gifts God has given us. Satan delights in our burying and hoarding of God’s treasures.
When we fail to exercise our gifts the body of Christ suffers. It’s as if a limb or organ is dysfunctional or even dead. And that’s a curse.
Why don’t you, along with me, think of ways we can be a blessing to others (perhaps that might lead us to decide we need times of silence and solitude–because we are wearing others out by being spiritually and emotionally and physically off). Jesus said that the greatest person in the kingdom will be the servant of all. Servants are usually in the background–seemingly invisible. They often go unnoticed and are sometimes mistreated. Attention is not showered upon them; it is showered upon the master. That’s probably why John said about Jesus, “He must increase and I must decrease.”
However, you need to know that God sees everything you do. Everything. Genesis tells us he is the God Who Sees. Remember the story of Hagar and Ishmael? If you don’t receive the recognition you definitely deserve remember dear one that God sees all things even that which is done in secret. He sees and honors everything done for him in Jesus’ name. When all things are made new you will be rewarded for your loving service on his behalf.
Another thought on blessing and service: in John 13, after Jesus washed his disciples feet he said that they’d be blessed if they did likewise. Blessing comes through serving others, as our Lord’s glory increases and our self-seeking and self-service diminishes. It is a hard teaching that is nevertheless true.
Do we really seek to be a blessing and not a curse?