I’ve never uttered the words, I’m blessed. Shamefully, I’m more likely to describe myself as lucky to live a good life. I don’t even believe in the philosophy of luck, but it’s just a flippant phrase I can use without attaching any deeper spiritual meaning to it.
Admittedly, I should probably find a better phrase to use.
But the reason I’ve struggled with describing myself as blessed is because the phrase is used so casually that I’ve had a sneaking suspicion it’s actually not often used correctly.
For some, they are “blessed” because of the delicious bagel they ate this morning. Others are “blessed” because they just received a job promotion. Another is “blessed” because they survived cancer.
Can all of these situations be equally described as a blessing? Are there ranges of blessings, or should we limit our use of this word to certain situations?
To define yourself as blessed has always been trendy. One popular rap song even says, “I’m not lucky, I’m blessed.” It seems like anything can be described as a blessing, and maybe it’s a good thing to view every moment in life as a blessing.
Nevertheless, as common as the word is among Christians and non-Christians alike, I must admit I’ve never truly understood what it meant to be blessed. Based on its usage, to be blessed means something good has happened in your life. But the issue with defining “blessing” this way is how challenging it becomes to apply that definition to biblical descriptions of blessing.
Blessed are those who are persecuted…
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial …
Blessed are those who mourn…
Blessed are the poor in spirit…
Certainly, there are many other verses in Scripture that more fittingly describe the way we use the term blessed today. After all, I don’t imagine anyone who is mourning the loss of a loved one is signing off their social media post with #blessed.
Nevertheless, the Bible offers a far more expansive vision for what it means to be blessed than the common understanding.
Types of Blessings
Oftentimes, our framework for blessing is a material gift from God. But if we were to take every biblical mention of blessing, we walk away with three categories or types of blessings.
Blessings From God
The language of God blessing his people is abundant within the Old Testament. The very first blessing from God to humanity is found in Genesis.