Too Blessed to be Stressed

Today I overheard a comment that I seem to be hearing more and more. A fellow was talking about how much money he had made and about a new vehicle and then made this statement: "God has really blessed me."

At what point did having money and expensive toys become equated with God's blessings? If having money and stuff means God is blessing, than my household is cursed. I have been laid off twice this year, I am always late with the rent, I am driving the same Chevy S-10 that I have been driving since 2001, and if we're lucky, we might be able to buy a small gift for each of our children for Christmas this year. No, sirree, God has truly NOT blessed this house.

Do you see my point? I have friends who serve overseas as missionaries. One does not enter the mission field with hopes of financial prosperity and monetary "blessings." A blessing for them is to have food to eat for the day, and to make it home each day without being killed, raped, or tortured. Is it our understanding that these missionaries are not being blessed by God because they have to walk or ride a bike to get where they need to go and not a Mercedes or a limo? Surely not. And what about our soldiers scattered around the world missing Christmas with their families? I guess they aren't very blessed either. Sigh...

It's time for religious people to see the light. What the man I overheard today spent on his new truck (that God blessed him with) could feed 100 families in Darfur for a month. Think about that on Christmas morning while you collect your booty from beneath the tree.

Now, let me clarify something. I do not think that having money and being prosperous is evil. Thinking that wealth and prosperity make one "blessed" is evil as well as arrogantly presumptuous.

A popular Southern Baptist evangelist, Bailey Smith, once compared the Church to a luxury cruise liner, moving powerfully through the waters while many drowning people try to get on board. They end up drowning because the floating prosperous Church doesn't see them nor do they care.

Another thing that urks the living daylights out of me are these people who apparently don't live on the same planet as the rest of us. Ask them how they are, and they will say, "I'm too blessed to be stressed."

Well, lah dee freakin dah!


George said…
Man, THAT is some strong stuff you just posted and totally goes with something I read today in a way I'd never thought of it before.

Matthew 5 33-34 from "The Message":

33 “And don’t say anything you don’t mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions.34 You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true.

I think the same goes for saying "I am so blessed" in certain insincere contexts.

Merry Christmas, Todd! You ARE a very blessed man.
Chuck said…
Here is a question - Can you be blessed through your troubles? We always assume that when things are going right, we are being blessed, and when they are not...well, we never use the word. However, our Lord said that we would have troubles and blessed are the "low in spirit" aka, the humble. Look at Peter - After getting arrested and beaten and told not to preach the Gospel, he left singing and praising God for being found worthy of persecution (what a strange blessing).

If you have not read Crazy Love, I highly recommend it. I found the chapter called "a better life - later" really challenging.

And, like George said, I've seen the pictures of your family and you are a man that is truly blessed.

Just come to our breakfasts!!! I miss you!
Rick said…
Both sides of that coin are often "blessed" and "cursed", aren't they? Merry Christmas to your big beautiful Brady family, Todd.

Say hi to Ulamack for me (my verification word below). I remember the days when Ulamack would take us fishin'... she was a big-boned gal.
James said…
Yes, I agree that as a society (I have heard agnostic friends of mine refer to being "blessed" and have wondered, by whom?) and as a church ("May God bless your wallet this season") we to easily throw that line around. The blessing the angels gave the shepherds on Christmas day had nothing to do with material pursuits: Peace on Earth and goodwill to all men.

Word verification: FLART - a sputtering gaseous emision.
Todd R. Vick said…
Gentlemen and best pals, I am blessed beyond belief. Thanks for chiming in!
Alan said…
Well bless your heart. Oops, sorry.

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