“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.” -- John 13:34-35
The first habit I want you to consider embracing is that of blessing others. I’d like you to bless three people each week. One person from the church community and one person in your mission field (where you live, work & play). The third is a wild card, it can be someone from the church, your mission field or simply a reactive opportunity.
What Does It Mean To Be A Blessing
So, what does it mean to be a blessing?
Technically, it describes the act of consecrating something or someone by religious rite or word. When translating the Bible into English, we used the Latin word benedicre and Greek word eulogein, both of which mean "to speak well of, to praise." Later, the meaning shifted toward "pronounce or make happy."
Today, Christians use the word "bless" in a ton of different ways. Mostly it is used to give prosperity or bring happiness to someone.
It is also used in terms of adding to someone's life or being a helping hand. A blessing is simply:
Anything that relieves a burden in someone's life.
Anything that helps someone breathe more easily.
Anything that lifts their spirits or alleviates their distress.
A blessing can be a small thing or a big thing! Basically, blessing another generally takes three different forms. These are the forms that I suggest we use as a framework for us in our mission.
1. Words of Affirmation
This is the simplest way to bless someone. Send them a note, write them an email, text them. Send them some words of affirmation and encouragement. Let them know you’ve noticed something worthwhile about them.
Mark Twain once said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” It's been said that a word of encouragement is like oxygen to the soul. It's really beautiful when you think about, a word of affirmation helps our souls to breathe more easily.
2. Acts of Kindness
Who doesn’t feel blessed when someone does them a solid or helps out with something? Raking a neighbors leaves. Babysitting a couple’s kids... for free. Taking out the neighborhood girls for coffee and chit-chat.
These acts of kindness add something to their lives. They lighten the load a bit. Look for ways to perform an act of kindness in someone’s life, big or small!
Someone who receives a gift just seems to bask in the love, thoughtfulness and effort of the gifter. A gift can show someone that they are known, cared for and valued. And I’m not just talking about birthday or Christmas gifts. I mean totally random gift giving.
Almost everything ever written on the subject of love indicates that at the heart of love is the spirit of giving. A gift is a symbol of that thought. Gifts come in all sizes, colors and shapes. Some are expensive, and others are free.
Some gifts are given for obvious reasons... make a meal for family during a stressful time, grabbing a beer or coffee with a friend who is struggling, stressed or depressed.
But some gifts are nothing more than expression that the recipient has been thought of... extra loaf of banana bread from a neighbor, random 12 pack of your favorite beverage because it was on sale.
As I mentioned earlier, I want you to bless one person from the church community and one person in your mission field. This means the blessings will bounce around our church, as we are affirming, gifting and performing acts of kindness for each other.
It also means we are thrusted outward to bless unbelievers in the ways. Just watch how unleashing a culture of blessing—words of affirmation, acts of kindness, gift giving—binds people to each other.
It has the effect of strengthening the Christian community while launching its members more deeply into the lives of outsiders.
Let the Blessing Wars begin!