The Nature of True Blessings

 Enrichment is more important than riches.

Jon Tyson


THE TRICKY THING about discussing blessings is that the word means so many different things to different people.

Many consider the word only in financial terms.

Some pastors, because of ignorance or deliberate misinterpretation of the Scriptures, teach that mountains of cash is a birthright for the child of God. Are you a believer, but are not rich? Then you do not have enough faith.

So the thinking goes.

Setting aside the charlatans for a moment, those who honestly come by their interpretation of the promises of Proverbsthat blessings are all about the material worldcould be forgiven for such a shallow interpretation.

Solomon, for example, writes, "The blessing of the Lord makes rich" (10:22).  On the surface this passage (and there are more) seem pretty cut and dry. If God blesses you, you'll be rich. Conclusion: if you're not rich, God hasn't blessed you.

I've dissected this word, "rich" thoroughly in The Last Lessons of Christ and in Your Utmost Is Not Enough, so I won't brandish the scalpel again for want of preserving the topic at hand. But if you haven't read either or these books, they are good places to start.

But before proceeding, let's revisit the word briefly for the sake of context.

Richness is always relative because it involves comparisons. Compared to a resident of the third world I'm wealthy. Compared to Jeff Bezos, I'm poor. If we had to pin down a hard and fast definition for rich, I'd say it is having more than you need to survive. That's the Mendoza Line, so to speak.

By that definition then, I'm rich. Most likely, you are too.

It's important to remember though that money is merely a symbol. Cash is a representation of value. That is, no one cares about dollars because they are pretty or have a neat design. In fact, if you think about it, money is dirty and smells bad.

But we hoard it, store it, and guard it because of the promise it representsthe promise of value. We set values based on what people are willing to pay: $4 for a gallon of milk, $45,000 for a new car, $350,000 for a house. Therefore $5,000 in your bank account isn't really $5,000. It is 1,250 gallons of milk, .111 cars, or .014 houses.

Yet, while the saying may be trite, the most valuable things in life are those things that cannot be purchased with any amount of money. Things like love, grace, a strong work ethic, health, youth, time, contentment, respect.

Therefore the richest people on earth, it might be argued, are those who possess these intangibles. No matter how badly an Oprah or a Musk or a Gates desires the love of another, true love cannot be purchased even were one to offer one's entire estate as ransom.

When we view riches in this way, we can grasp a deeper understanding of Solomon's proverb, "The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it" (10:22). Material wealth, in the hands of those without the right mindset and without the necessary level of maturity and without the right heart will bring nothing but sorrow. Guaranteed.

God's blessings, then, are intended to enrich our lives rather than simply to increase our bank accounts.

Don't misunderstand, I believe God can and does provide material wealth to certain people at certain times. I know this is true based on what I read about Abraham in the Bible. But to say that money always flows to God's children is a shallow interpretation of God's promises.

God's value system often differs from human value systems. The good news is that God, as an omniscient being, knows the true value of everythingfrom a container of milk to your soulmate. And therefore blessings that flow from him always enrich us, even if that enrichment isn't apparent because we can't label it with a barcoded price.

In fact some blessings don't always appear that way in the moment. I think back on some opportunities I missed out on throughout the years that at the time were sources of disappointment, but in retrospect I recognize them as blessings. Likewise some uncomfortable phases of life served to craft me into a stronger person. We can't always recognize these blessings in the moment, but God knows what he's doing. If it were up to us, we'd all be living in mansions eating bacon-wrapped filet mignon until we puked and driving expensive cars until we got bored of them.

In response to this revelationsomething I'm quite good at forgettingmy prayer is not, "God, please give me this new job" or, "Grant me this raise" but rather, "Please give me this new job if it is the best thing for me" or, "Grant me this raise, if it is your will."

Or, if we really want to strike at the core, how much would our perspectives change if we could pray with sincerity, "God, please transform my value system to match yours." How much would our lives  and the world around us be different if we could do that?

And if you enjoyed this article, you might be interested in my curated, chronological Old Testament reading plan with notes. I've combed through the first portion of the Bible and selected the most critical chapters for your perusal, wrapped up in a 90-day reading plan.

Whether you've read through the OT before or always get stuck at Leviticus, this guide will help you gain a deeper understanding of God's word as a whole.

The guide is free if you want it. It will only cost you your email address, but you can unsubscribe from the list at any time with one click. Just enter your email address below, and I'll send the reading guide your way.


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  1. Thank you for the inspiration. Your words are always spot on.

  2. Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed it Dwayne. Thank you for reading!