A #blessed life. At times, we’ve all wanted it, strived towards it, and coveted it in other people. Visions of beautiful kids, a Pinterest worthy house, a tropical vacation, and flawless skin consume our minds; not wanting to admit it, inwardly our flesh craves comfort, security, success, accolades, adventure, intrigue, beauty, and acknowledgement. A quick search of Instagram produced 62,858,002 posts tagged #blessed. Scrolling through the pages you see pretty people, pretty decorations, pretty achievements, and pretty lives.
What if the #blessed life we’ve been chasing is backwards to the one we were created to live?
The #blessed life we put on social media tends to show what we have, what we think is good, and what makes us happy. Not always the intention of our heart, what we consider #blessed can paint a picture into what we value, cherish, or chase. Most of the time, in my own life at least, it has been mostly about ME.
Simply put…I think we are chasing the wrong thing.
Jesus says in Matthew 5:
And he [Jesus] opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Will I say my life is #blessed when my mom dies of cancer, even if it pulls me closer to Him? Will I thank God for tight finances because it allows us to wait and see His provision? Will I have joy when I get diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, because it actually makes me dependent in a way I never knew possible? What about when I blow my knee, my car breaks down, my kid gets bullied, or my friend walks away? Where are these #blessed posts? Where are the proclamations of the hard getting re-purposed for good? We don’t see it because it is a backwards theology, 100% counter cultural. It doesn’t make sense to the world, and at times, hasn’t made sense to me.
Jesus says in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that they [we] may have life, and have it to the full.”
Jesus humbled Himself by coming to this earth to give us life – life for eternity with Him, but also life on this mess of an earth too. The full life He came to bring doesn’t include a fancy new sofa or face wash that takes away my wrinkles. It isn’t about my children’s successes or my new dream job. It certainly isn’t about my ambitions or achievements. Our #blessed life shouldn’t leave people jealous, coveting, or envious. It shouldn’t push friends away, cause division, or be self-seeking. The things that cause us to have a blessed life should bring people back to our relationship with our Savior. We are blessed because He redeems our pain. We are blessed because He strengthens our weak knees and feeble arms. We are blessed because He gives us courage to enter others pain. We are blessed because we have been granted the opportunity to believe in Him and suffer for Him. We are blessed because He is enough, and I am not.
So these are the two questions I have been pondering:
- What about my life has produced eternal blessings? Things that matter? Things that last?
- How can I use my earthly blessings to bring people back to the One who gave them to me in the first place?
This doesn’t mean we can’t buy nice face wash, and it certainly doesn’t mean we can’t pursue a dream or start a business. I don’t think it means we should hide our pretty things and pretend like they don’t excite us either. Let’s not let this prevent us from stepping into a calling because of how it might be perceived, and, for heavens sake, please don’t hide the pictures of your beautiful children. Some of these things just make the world more comfortable, and that is okay! Others of these things could be our God-ordained calling; if so, we have a duty to step into them with obedience. All of these things are gifts that can point back to our Creator and be used for His good purposes; so we can, and always should be, thankful, celebrating with one another as these blessings come.
The point is we have to stop CHASING after the #blessed life of this WORLD, pursuing it at all cost and for the end goal of having the life the world tells us to live.
Instead, let us be a generation of people that seek God first, our motivation being love, our intentions being pure, and our celebration of what God is doing being genuine. Let our desire be first and only for Him and the things He treasures most; love for God and for other people.
The most #blessed men and women I know aren’t the ones with the biggest paychecks, largest platforms, most followers on Instagram, or the nicest homes. They are the men and women I have seen firsthand suffer with grace. Enduring hardship as discipline, they have carried others burdens in light of their own. They have chosen to trust God when the world says to curse Him, knowing what it means to have fellowship with the Spirit. They have lived and loved well despite their own pain or limitations. Their faith is secure. Their hope is contagious. Their joy complete.
THAT is the kind of #blessed life I want. It costs something, most of all my pride, selfishness, and propensity to compare. But my new prayer for today is that I seek Him first, so that when other people look at my life, they see Jesus before they see me.
Will you chase after this #blessed life with me?