Monday, April 8, 2013

Blessings and Curses 1

We started a new sermon series yesterday on "Blessings and Curses". We'll be looking at how, as Christians, we have opportunities everyday to bless (or curse) our community, our spouses, and our kids.

It's been making me think about how I can more consciously choose to bless rather than curse the people around me. As usual, this highlights my shortcomings!

I want to bless people rather than curse them. I would love to believe that I am allowing God to work through me to change this world for the better. I would hope that as I continue to grow in Christ (and yes, even pastors are on a discipleship journey) that I will be able to more freely offer myself as a conduit for God's work in the world. That takes a lot of letting go, though - something those of us who are self-acknowledged control freaks and worriers have a hard time doing.

I think my big fear is that if I give and give and give and give to those around me, my well is going to run dry. So instead of pouring out blessings on the people in my life, I pick and choose when to dole them out. Here's an imaginary conversation between me and my family:

"What are you fussing about! I blessed you twice yesterday! You can only get a half one today because there's a weekly quota!"

Ridiculous when you read it but I actually have similar thoughts that run through  my head - particularly when it's 'tucking in time' and I've pushed back bedtime, read an extra chapter, given extra hugs and kisses and still have more demanded of me. I have this thought that goes through my head -  "If I don't get out now, I'll be here until midnight!" (picture me in Edvard Munch's "The Scream").

It's not that I don't want to be selfless - it's that I am still sinfully selfish. We are all works in progress - the more progress we make, the more clearly we can see where we need to continue to remodel!

I know there is no limit to God's love and if I allow God's love to flow through me to others, there is an never ending supply of it waiting to refill that which I give away. I just need to be more mindful of that well and take advantage of it so that I share God's blessings rather than the world's curses.
God - give me the courage to be filled with YOUR love, the generosity to give it away freely, and the mindfulness to do this in all situations.

- Chesney Szaniszlo

The soothing tongue is a tree of life,
    but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit. - Proverbs 15:4