This phrase has apparently been stalking me over the last few weeks. I’ve been hearing it as others speak, and reading it where others have written. All the while those words, “blessed to bless” tumble around inside my head as I move about my every days.
It’s true you know. We have not been given much to hoard and keep for ourselves. Contrary to the “American dream” type of living, that surrounds us.
We have been blessed to bless. And miraculously through the handing out of the blessing, it somehow finds its way back into our pockets. Conversely, when we hoard the blessings they oftentimes slip away leaving us feeling cheated.
We have been blessed to bless.
So how do I teach my kids this lesson? In a me-centered materialistic society, how do I help them learn and live this in their every days. I won’t pretend to be an expert because I’m not. But I have a thought, one focus that might help.
Several years ago, after watching the movie Slumdog Millionaire, I kinda lost it for a day or two. The movie had a profound effect on me. It made me want to do more. In the aftermath, I wrote this:
I want to be intentional about teaching my kids about the world and the orphans and the kids who are hurting. Maybe if they grow up with that awareness they can do something to change it. Maybe that is one way I can do something. So here are the goals I have for my children: To give them an awareness of the needs of the world around them; to grow compassion for those needs, and a desire/will to act on those needs and make a difference.Honestly, I kind of forgot I had even made that goal until I was reading back through my moleskin notebook and rediscovered it. But I think there is a kind of magic in writing goals like that down. Even if you don’t revisit the actual written goal, pen to paper somehow indents them a little firmer in your heart. Looking back, I can see evidence of that goal's indention in how we've lived our lives.
Not that we are doing it perfectly, or even consistently. We struggle with materialism and wanting a comfortable life every day. Often our choices reflect the "American Dream,"way more than a "Blessed to Bless" attitude. But, it is something we are aware of and trying to teach our kids. We are trying to teach them a global perspective with the hope that they will live lives of compassion and make a difference in the lives of those who are hurting and vulnerable. We hope that they will live out the phrase, “blessed to bless” as they grow.
With all that in mind, I am planning a series of posts over the next few weeks on ways we have intentionally tried to encourage a global perspective in our kids. I know for a fact that many of you who actually read my ramblings have the same goal for your families and I hope that you will add your thoughts and ideas along the way so we can all learn from each other.
One last thought, I recently read the following post on the Lifesong Blog, written by a high school student in Illinois. She writes on why we have been blessed to bless. It is well worth the read.
We have been blessed to bless. May we all live this out, in practical ways, to the glory of our God!