Blessed to be a Blessing

I am often asked, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”  I understand why.  After all, we have all experienced pain and it is natural to wonder why.


But, you know, I have never been asked, “Why do good things happen to good people?”  In a time of blessing, no one has every come to me and asked me to explain the point of the blessings.


According to the Bible, the point is clear.  God blesses us so that we can be a blessing to others.  We are stewards of good gifts so that those good gifts can be used to build others up and call them to be who they could and should be.


One of my favorite stories that illustrates this point is found in 2 Kings 7.  Israel was in trouble.  A Syrian invasion left a broken people.  To make matters worse, a famine added to the pain, leaving devastation on all sides.


In chapter 7 we are introduced to 4 men who were sick with leprosy.  With a kind of defeated resignation, they sat at the entrance of the gate and reasoned, “If we go in the city, we will die because of the famine.  If we sit here and do nothing, we die also.”  “So,” they concluded, “Let’s take our chances with the Syrian people and go into their camp.  If they spare us, we live; if then don’t, we’re dead anyway.


So they set out to see what would happen next.


When the arrived the camp, they saw what they never expected.  The Lord had made the army of Syria hear what sounded like a mighty army.  Consequently, that became so afraid that they fled and left all their possessions behind (tents, clothes, gold, horses, and everything else).


So, when they lepers came to the edge of the camp, it was time for a party.  They ate and drank.  They carried off silver, gold, and clothing as they raked in the spoil.


As they were enjoying this blessing, one man had a thought.  He said, “We are not doing right.  This is a day of good news . . . let us go and tell the king’s household.”


In other words, the reason for their blessing dawned on him.  These men were not blessed merely to consume and enjoy.  They had not discovered these riches so they might be rich.  Instead, they were allowed to discover the fact that the threat of the Syrian army was gone in order to tell the king, enabling him to rest easy and celebrate deliverance.  In other words, they understood they were blessed to be a blessing.


I wonder if that insight ever occurs to us.  Do we realize we have been given so much so that we can give much to others?  We, too, have been blessed so that others may receive blessing.


And this is for our good.


The Bible, and my experience, has taught me that a generous heart is a growing heart.  God expands our joy when we extend blessing.  Thus, I can honestly say I have never met an unhappy, generous person.


Today’s simple lesson is this: we are blessed to be a blessing.  So, let’s take those blessings and find creative ways to share them today.