11 March 2015

Off Topic: #Blessed

Hopefully, no one will take this post personally, and you're feeling chatty today, because I'd really like to know how other people feel about this subject.





#Blessed has become a Twitter/Instagram cliché, and I'm under the impression that people use it to express their gratitude for things they've received in life (while showing their religious beliefs in a way that won't offend their nonreligious followers). But to be frank, that hashtag is terribly misused.



Definition of a Blessing: 

1. God's favour and protection. 
2. A prayer. 
3. Holy approval or encouragement.


Having grown up in a religious home, we were always taught that a blessing was a gift (not usually tangible) that one received from God for being faithful and trying to be a good person. So when people show off their second homes and brand new cars - Hashtag Blessed - I can't help but think, "No not blessed. Lucky."

Many of the world's kindest, humblest, most religious people live in absolute poverty. Some of them have no family and no where to call home, but they are much better people than I am, and would give you the shirt off your back if you needed it. Do I really think that I've accumulated material wealth and am "blessed" enough to live in a first world country because God favours me over them? Have I earned any of this because I am a more faithful person?

Absolutely not!

I'm very lucky you guys. I live in a warm apartment, in one of the world's most beautiful cities, with a man that I'm madly in love with, and we're preparing to meet our first baby. This is such a beautiful time in my life. Does this mean that God favours me more than he does my single friends who would love to find that special someone and start a family? No.

We had three miscarriages before this pregnancy. Does that mean God loves us less than couples who are lucky enough to have successful pregnancies the first time around? No.

I could have all the fancy gadgets, homes, and YSL makeup in the world, and I still wouldn't be "blessed" in the slightest if none of it made me a nicer person. I don't know why I was lucky enough to be born into the family that I was and to find the husband that I did. But it certainly wasn't because God felt I deserved more "blessings" than the children born into difficult homes or poverty.



So what is a blessing?

Since at the heart of it all #Blessed is a Christian topic, I thought we'd go right to the source.

Matthew 5:5-10

5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


There is not a single material possession, or any sort of relationship, listed there.

According to me: Your friend who knows just what to say to comfort you when you're heartbroken is blessed. The teenager who gives up all of his Saturdays to serve food to the homeless is blessed. The person who tries hard to make their spouse feel loved is blessed.

Your neighbor who just got a brand new car? Maybe. Maybe not. But their "blessed" status has nothing to do with anything they've bought.


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Feel free to call me out if I'm completely off base here, but that's what being blessed means to me, and I wish it were a little less overused in the social media world.

Thoughts?

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