There’s a famous quote attributed to Gandhi that goes “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” It’s a pretty good quote, as quotes go, but I think it misses the mark. I would rephrase it: “Be the blessing that you wish to see in the world.”
Change is easy to fight for and hard to live out. The Internet makes this process even more lop-sided. Facebook, Twitter, blogs, forums…there are so many opportunities now to make our voices heard, to state our opinions, to raise up one leader we admire or tear down another. But how much of this is simply sound and fury, signifying nothing?
I think change isn’t the goal, it’s the result. It’s the result of doing something else, doing something more basic, something more profound, something where humanity and divinity intersect. It’s the result of being a blessing.
Blessings are hard to fight for, but easier to live out once you have put on your spiritual glasses. It says in the Bible that, if you are a follower of Jesus, you have been “blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (1) and that you have been “created in Christ for good works which God prepared beforehand.” (2)
Isn’t that amazing? Christ has blessing upon blessing upon blessing to lavish upon us, both in this age and in the age to come because the blessings aren’t earthly in origin, they come directly from the heavenly places! Wow! And not only are we blessed, but we get to bless others – in fact, the goodness we can give to others is something God cares about so deeply, He has already prepared a way for us to engage in those good works!
But wait, there’s more.
The Bible says you are called to “bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.” Wait, what?!?! OK, I get the part about doing good stuff for people and since Jesus has blessed me I should bless others, but I have to bless people who are actively seeking my destruction??? How does that work?
Permit me to restate this a bit to help you understand. What God is trying to tell us is:
Instead of wishing for your enemies’ destruction, wish for your enemies’ salvation. Instead of thinking how to eleminate them, think of how to enlighten them. Instead of thinking how the world would be better of without them, think of how the world would be better when you make peace with them. Instead of thinking how much they have hurt you, think how much they are hurting unless you seek to make a difference.
You see, being a blessing isn’t just some la-dee-da affair replete with pixie dust and cheesy smiles. Being a blessing is raw, gritty, down-to-business, no-holds-barred, life-and-death scenario. Everytime you reach out to someone else in love, you are making waves. You are changing lives. You are changing history. And you are living out the path that God has set before you.
Everyone’s always going around asking God to bless them. Praying for this. Praying for that. Now I don’t mean to belittle prayer in the slightest, but guess what? That part’s already been taken care of! Maybe God is “praying” for you to bless the people around you. And, in doing so, you get to enter into God’s plan to bless the people around you. Yes, that’s right – you yourself could very well be the answer to someone else’s prayer. How cool is that?
So, in closing, my prayer for you is this: that you would lay down the mantle of change, which is too heavy a burden for any man, and pick up the mantle of blessing. Allow God’s blessings to envelop you, and then ask Him to show you how to be a blessing to others. You just might find, after a lifetime of blessing, that the world has been forever changed.
- Ephesians 1:3
- Ephesians 1:10
- Romans 12:14