The Call of Abram
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.””
It is a fundamental law of nature itself that we are blessed to be a blessing.
We see it in forests, where tall trees, who block the sun from reaching smaller sprouts eventually fall pray to sickness, die, and then become fire hazards, whose ashes eventually nourish those small sprouts again. We see it in the fields who fall pray to swarms of locusts, who must then move on to the next field or starve because of their own insatiable hunger. We see it millions of examples of organisms living together and helping one another find food and safety… and it is the very foundation of agriculture, where we, human beings, protect, preserve, and nurture the land and animals around us so that we too might have food. Whatever blessing any creature possesses, it is made to serve in the natural order of life to bless those around it.
Blessing is both giving and receiving and it is made to be as simple as breathing. We give carbon dioxide to plants and they give oxygen to us. Without the relationship of blessing we share, both of us run out of air, but together, we bless that air for one another. Real leaders understand this not only is an important act of reciprocity (I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine) but it is an act of obedience (I will bless you even if you do not bless me).
In fact, Jesus commanded it if His followers:
Love for Enemies2
“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
God Himself often takes our acts of praise and honor to Him to draw others to Him so that they too may receive life and blessing. He takes the idea of prosperity – success and happiness where you are – and turns it over on its head. Once prosperity is finally emptied of itself, you finally have generosity: the true goal of God’s kingdom. This is why God asked Abraham to leave the prosperity of his home kingdom and follow God into the wilderness. It was not only to receive a greater kingdom, it was so Abraham could bless all the nations around, not just his own.
Who blesses you?
Who do you bless?