Today’s podcast is a response to listener feedback from Beth. If you have questions or thoughts, email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I may feature them on a future episode.
Today's question: "Matt, could you go over the real definition of blessing. I hear so many people talk about their designer jeans or new car as a blessing and I think there's more to it than that."
1. Abounding in desirable qualities
When I began searching to define words that were said to my Aunt Trish, just before she died, I ran across this definition of rich. As we’ve talked before, qualities like responsibility, forgiveness, generosity, gratitude, humility, and confidence are all key qualities for us to possess. But, if we’re honest with ourselves, we settle for something else.
Last week, I heard my pastor and friend, Mike Ashcraft, say:
“Attention is poor substitute for love.” click to tweet to Mike
As I thought about these powerful words as it related to redefining rich, I came to this statement.
“Wealth is a poor substitute for worth”
If you’re seeking financial prowess as a way to prove your worth, I believe you’re missing true life. Moreover, I believe it’s unfulfilling and paralyzing; I know because I’ve been there.
Lately, there’s been a lot of speculation lately about what a blessing is, especially in the religious community. Now, I’m not a pastor or theologian, but I want to share my thoughts as I see them through God’s word as it relates to this idea of richness.
At times, I’m fearful that people would misinterpret the redefine rich message only as it relates to money. I do believe, if we learn to harness these principles, we will benefit in many ways, but the message to redefine rich is not solely speaking to financial gain.
So what is a blessing?
1. Act or words of someone who blesses
2. A special favor, mercy, or benefit
3. The invoking of God’s favor upon a person
I immediately found the first recorded use of the word blessing in the Bible. Sure enough, it was right there in the beginning.
“God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number'” Genesis 1:28
I believe God is into blessing, but He defines the blessing, we don’t. All too often, we corrupt this concept for our own gain and we see blessings through our own eyes. The key becomes changing our perspective to His.
Last week on the Live Richly Community, we went through an exercise to help us focus our desires. I asked everyone to write on the wall one thing that they envied. It was a phenomenal response and very fulfilling. I even had one person comment, “I can’t believe how cathartic it was to publicly acknowledge the envy this morning, and then have it wiped clean.”
You see, when we don’t get love and we don’t get worth, we begin to envy things that are a far cry from what we were created for. We settle for wealth and attention when we were really created for worth and love.
I think we need to refocus our minds around what we truly value.
Attention and wealth will go away, worth and love are eternal. Our true value will be determined by the legacy our life creates.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, especially in my role as a father. Do I want my boys to remember me by how many followers I have on Twitter or how much money I have in my bank account? I would rather them remember me for the time that I spent with them or the love that I showed them.
AND, I don’t have this right. I fail often. But the point is, moving in that direction. Because I believe God blesses our efforts to trust Him and move in His direction.
So let’s not let the material things be a substitute for the deep longing of our soul. Instead, lets find worth and love in Christ which transcends.
CHALLENGE: Bring worth and value to those around you today. Be attentive and intentional to pore your worth into others. Leave a comment below about your thoughts on the podcast.
As always, if you're enjoying the show, please leave us a review on iTunes. If you need help with how to do that, please let me know and I will show you. I really appreciate you being here. Matt