1. Society for Benefit of Non-members!
“The church is the only society on earth that exists for the benefit of non-members”, said William Temple. When God called Abraham, He said, “I will bless you… and you will be a blessing… all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:1-3). So the point of blessing is to be a conduit to be a blessing to others. God decides what blessing to give, when to give, and to what extent to give. Abraham had to wait 25 years after God promised him offspring. While some of our prayers asking for blessings are good legitimate needs, sometimes we seek blessings to satisfy our greed and seek riches, fame, positions of power, beauty, being praised, etc. That misses the point about blessings and their purpose.
2. Conduit of Blessing Others in All Circumstances
Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God”. How can we do that in the face of life’s many tragedies and unfulfilled dreams/desires? It is possible if we see ourselves as conduits of blessings to others. The entirety of life, whatever be the circumstances (that God allows), we can see it in the context of how it may further us (at least in the sense of eternal well-being) and pursue to make the world a better place. Such a sense of gratitude leads one to do remarkable moral activities – like the story of a homeless person who helps to take old terminally ill patients for a walk, or a person from a dysfunctional family dedicating her/his life to share wisdom and counsel others. Even in seemingly undesirable circumstances, one can be a source of value and of blessing, and hence can rejoice, pray and give thanks, as Paul asks in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
3. Detrimental Factors That Stop Us From Being a Blessing
On the other hand, there are some patterns of life that can be detrimental to be a blessing to others. On this Thanksgiving day, let us pray to help us come out of such detrimental factors. For example, let us confess and seek God’s sanctification regarding the “sins of the tongue” – like gossip, instigating people against each other, creating divisiveness, inability to admit error, exaggerating ones qualifications/achievements/works, bragging, being a constant judge of everyone else’s character, seeking attention/admiration/fame, slander, devaluing other people, arrogance, self-righteousness, etc. Such a forward step will go a long way in making our families, communities, and the world a better place. As Hebrews 13:15 says “let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that openly profess his name”.