Untangling the threads of prosperity, culture and faith, one from another, seems almost impossible these days. We see images of people holding Starbucks drinks, or sporting the latest fashion, or simply showcasing, under perfect lighting, beautifully color-coordinated objects with the caption: #blessed.
Look. I’m so blessed.
A #blessed life today eerily resembles consumerism drenched in the “American Dream” way of life.
Counting our blessings and being grateful for all that we have been given is a way that we give thanks to the Lord. Absolutely. God is good and he gives good things.
But, I wonder if we have confused the bounty of our prosperity as a direct indication and measure of our “blessed” status.
Perhaps this inconsistency in our thinking versus reality is no more evident than when we find ourselves sitting in seasons of pain, heartbreak, hurting–faithfully waiting through the confusion and silence.
For when we let blessed look like increase and accumulation we put ourselves in grave danger of becoming “unblessed” if our circumstances change, or our luck runs out, if you will. If we are depending on the holy hustle and resting on the privilege that most of us in America enjoy, we are holding the fate of our blessedness in our own hands.
I’ve been guilty of such thinking. That prosperity equates the highly favored and blessed life of the Lord.
But it can’t. It doesn’t. And it’s time to reclaim this sacred word.
Being blessed does not require perfect health or great wealth or even the absence of struggle. Being blessed, truly blessed, is never gained by the external, it is known in the depths of the soul eternal.
We are blessed because we are marked by Love. We are blessed when we secure our identity in the Creator of the universe. We are blessed with peace that surpasses understanding. We are blessed with joy in any and every circumstance.
Maybe this blessed will never look good in a post, or gain anyone more followers; but understanding that one can never be more blessed or less blessed based on circumstance or temporal goods allows us to weather the inevitable ups and downs, ebbs and flows, of a life that is anchored and secured by hope.
If our idea of blessed cannot apply to every people, tribe and nation we know it has become a distorted view, tainted by the lens of prosperity and privilege.
I don’t want to water down blessed with hashtags and fleeting things.
I want blessed to be the declaration of my innermost being.
I am blessed. I am blessed indeed.