Being a Blessing on Purpose

“Be mindful to be a blessing…(Galatians 6:10).

     What does it mean to be a blessing “on purpose”?  I thought this was a little strange at first.  I thought that once I decided that I wanted to be a blessing, that kindness would just sort of flow out of me like big beams of sunshine.  It doesn’t happen that way.  I will explain by giving you a few examples.

     My drive from my house to my parents’ is almost two hours.  About mid-way through the journey, I pass a very wonderful bakery.  Many times as I have driven the route, I have thought I should stop and get something for my step dad.  He loves sweets.  And yet, I never stopped.  I was always in a hurry, and the thought never developed into an action.  Then, after reading about the power thought I love people and I enjoy helping them, on my next visit home, I was mindful, and I stopped.  I set my intention to bless, and I stopped.  I bought my step dad a big piece of pie, and decided to get my grandma (who has been ill), a half-dozen fresh, baked cookies.  I enjoyed their delight in the unexpected gifts, but you see, I had to do it on purpose.  That drive could have been like so many others, when I just kept driving.

Later that day, I was shopping with my mother, and still trying to think of ways to bless people.  She was going to buy something in a certain store, when I remembered that I had a gift card for that store.  I didn’t have a lot of money left on it, but I gave it to her to use toward her purchase.  If I had not been consciously brainstorming about how I could help her, I probably would have forgotten the gift card.

Here is one more example.  Sometimes, I save up magazines to pass on to people who enjoy them, but I am very lazy and haphazard about getting the magazines to the people I think might like them.  Yesterday, I made a note on my “to do” list to have my husband deliver a pile of magazines to my mother-in-law.  He had to get out, and the weather was too bad for her to go to work, so I made a point to get the magazines to her on a day when she would most likely be stuck inside and enjoy having some reading material.  I included a thank you note to her for all of the things that she does for us.  If I had not been thinking about how I could bless someone, those magazines probably would have stayed where they were indefinitely. 

What’s the lesson I’ve learned? 

  • Being a blessing isn’t hard & it doesn’t have to cost money.
  • It requires conscious thought and setting an intent to bless.
  • Blessing might be a challenge during a blizzard when you don’t have a lot of contact with people, but there is something you can do.  God will show you and give you all kinds of creative ideas, if you just ask.

A New Focus: Loving and Helping People

     It’s that time.  It’s time to shift my focus from Power Thought #4 “I am difficult to offend,” to Power Thought #5.  Let me just say that I am glad that I will be revisiting Power Thought #4 later this year.  I thought I did pretty well at not getting offended until Friday.  I said “Hi” to someone on campus, and he did not return my greeting.  Then, today at Target, one of the workers cut in front of me with a huge cart, and did not say excuse me.  My immediate response to both of these instances was offense.  So, yes, I need to work on being difficult to offend, and letting go of all resentment.  I need to practice thinking the best of everyone in every situation.  So, even though I see lots of room for improvement with Power Thought #4, I am ready to move on to a new focus this week. 

     I am very excited about Power Thought #5.  I have been looking forward to this one.  This week’s Power Thought is:  “I love people and I enjoy helping them.”  The fun and challenge with this thought is that I make it my goal to be a blessing.  With this thought, I look for ways to bless people on purpose.  In the book, Power Thoughts, Joyce Meyer suggests asking God every morning to show you someone to bless and what to do for that person.  Then, in the evening, you can take “inventory” and check to see if you did what God impressed upon you.  Loving people and helping them can take on many forms—from donating time, money, giving an unexpected gift, to being encouraging and complimentary in your words.  Every human being who crosses our paths is an opportunity for us to show love and kindness. 

     Living this way means filling my mind with thoughts of others.  What would she like?  What would bless him?  What would make her life better this week?  What would ease his burden?  I am going to confess that this is not my normal way of thinking.  Perhaps like many Americans, even many Christians, I am a little bit too focused on myself—what would I like?  What would bless me?  What would make my life better this week?  What can I do to make my life easier?  As I begin to focus on the needs and interests of others, I am trusting God to meet my own needs and look out for my interests.  I think incorporating this Power Thought and practice into my life is going to be life changing!  I am excited!

     One more thing—this loving and helping others must be mindful and on purpose, because I cannot count on feeling like it.  I might feel like helping someone occasionally, but many days, I feel like lounging around on the couch drinking coffee and reading books.  Thank God we don’t live life based on what our feelings tell us to do.