Generously Bless

God of the Bible makes an astounding statement to His called out one, Abraham. He tells him, “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you. I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse; and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:2-3).  With these words, God lays upon Abraham a blessing — but also a responsibility.

It’s unfortunate we’ve been trained to see the word “blessing” and automatically think of it as being directed toward our personal wellbeing. God “blesses”— we receive the “blessing.”
 
Looking closer at what God says to Abraham, it quickly becomes apparent. “Blessings” are always something to be given away. You have not been blessed in order to enjoy them for yourself. It’s not like taking and hoarding the last piece of birthday cake long after the party is over. No, the fact of the matter is you have been blessed in order to be a blessing.
 
It is important to notice in Genesis 12 that only once does God tell Abraham that He will bless him. In contrast, three times God tells Abraham that others will be blessed through him. God does not bless you in order for you to feel good about yourself, or merely because He wants you to enjoy His blessings for yourself. This misses the point completely. God blesses you so that you in turn can bless others.
 
In other words, to live generously is to fully live in tune with the heart of God. Receive, so that you can give. Live generously, because this is the way God lives.  “I was young, but now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging for bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be a blessing.”—Psalm 37:25-26 
 
Apparently, living generously has a far greater impact than you might ever know. When you choose to live generously — giving, loving, blessing, encouraging, lending and mending that which is broken — you leave a legacy for the next generation. When you model generosity, you instill in the next generation that generosity is a value to be embraced. As you are a blessing to others, your children see this value and will more readily embrace it as their own. You ensure that the cycle of blessing continues.
 
In a society that is too often absorbed in self — self-advancement, self-promotion, even self-blessing — what kind of legacy are you leaving for the next generation? Is it one that is saturated in self, or is it one that sees the blessing of others as central to the message of God?
 
You have been blessed. Now it’s your turn.

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