It’s that time of year again. Some people “Bah, humbug!” during the whole time when ’tis the season to be jolly. The insights that follow are for that person, as well as the one who’s habitually “hum bugging” about something or someone. Been there, done that. Still working on it. Preaching to the “inner choir”! Here are some things I’ve discovered about the practice of blessing life, situations, and people that may help you.
At the outset – if it bothers you, bless it. And keep on blessing. Blessing is very creative…
If that person annoys you, don’t criticize or complain; choose instead to bless him or her. And keep on blessing.
If that situation never seems to change, stop complaining about it, railing against it, or cursing it. Just bless it. And keep on blessing.
The reason “it” is still here is because you resist it, and whatever you resist will persist – You put out resistance, it’s what you get back! You are planting seeds of resistance, and a sure harvest you will get. Everything will resist you! Often rather speedily. It’s “the law” of sowing and reaping in action – in a very common form: whining, complaining, gossiping, micromanaging, control freaking… Back out of its way by a choice to change the response to blessing whatever you’re reacting to, and let it pass through.
Keep on blessing! Things will change.
Things may arrive on the scene repeatedly, and you may wonder, “Why does this keep happening to me? Why does this person have to be in my space? Why will no one listen to me?” Did you ever consider that your “litany” of grievances is a form of resisting. It is a negative thought-prayer that works against you. So whatever you’re resisting is persisting. And so it shall – until you learn to bless.
Did you ever consider that “it” may be waiting for your blessing instead of your resistance, so it can go its way, and you can move on too? Otherwise you are stuck in your conundrum.
The blessing response is not natural, no. It’s supernatural! Blessing what we don’t like or what displeases us is God in action working through us.
Could the unpleasant and the annoying be your “Teacher” trying to reveal that life would be better if your responses were different? Consistently. If God is omnipresent, then He is here in this situation or this person. It may be His best disguise.
Otherwise, keep on responding as you always have – complaining, fussing, fuming, being resentful – and you’ll always get what you always got.
It’s up to you.
Christ often asked, “Do you want to be healed?” In order for that to happen, for example, He asked the man beside the pool (John 5:6) to do something different than he’d done before, different than he’d responded to his situation in decades! He had to break the pattern of doing what he’d always done. It may seem like an unreasonable request, but with God all things are possible. It may even have sounded like this: “Stop bemoaning your situation and waiting for someone to do something for you. Now – get up! Pick up that bed you’ve been lying on! And walk out of here!” He couldn’t see that he had the power within himself to change things, so he was in a sense living a lie. Jesus had to get him to see he could get up and walk.
So even learning to bless – rather than criticize and constantly complain – is possible with God! That is if you want to be healed of a critical spirit. Stop doing that and choose to bless. Yes, it will feel really odd at first. But when you notice things changing around you, you will begin to delight in blessing everyone and everything! It positively energizes your life, even your physical body!
We may not have control over what has arrived on the scene – that may have been the result of other seeds planted in the past, but we can choose a holy response to “it” here and now, and we can choose to make those holy responses a habit. Such responses create the future anew! Such responses are God moving through us, so that in blessing we can be blessed!
Did you ever think of it that way?
One wonders what would have happened had Jesus NOT prayed, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”? An unnatural but absolutely supernatural choice at the darkest moment! He chose to bless them with His prayer for forgiveness. It doesn’t get any more noble than that!
The “natural” response – the knee jerk reaction – the anger given a voice every time, is seldom ever going to change anything, except to make it worse, or perpetuate it – although it may be temporarily ego satisfying. (See James 1:20)
Here’s the best guide and reminder on this I can think of: “Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:9)
We can make a prayer – affirmation about it to use and contemplate every day: Let me each day consistently plant the seeds of blessing in all things, all people, all situations, and at all times, for I know that I have been called to bless in order that I may receive a blessing.
Question for contemplation: What are some people or situations where you find yourself consistently rehearsing a litany of grievances, where you could plug in a new response of blessing instead, and make a habit of it – with the Holy Spirit’s help of course?