Be a Blessing
J.R. Miller, published 1913
God gives us nothing to keep altogether as our very own. What he gives us, is still his, and we have only the use of it. It is merely lent to us. This means that it is to be returned again to God, when we have ended our use of it. It is not to be returned, however, just as it came to us, the bare gift and nothing more; it is to be multiplied with use, and then returned with proper accruements.
There is another phase of this use of God's gifts which we should not overlook. While they are in our hands, they are to be employed not for ourselves alone, or at all, primarily — but to give help, comfort, joy, light, and cheer, to others. When the Lord called Abraham to leave his country, his home, his friends, and go out as a homeless stranger, wherever he might be led — he gave Abraham a promise of great blessing. Then came the command, "and be you a blessing." He was to receive from God, and he must also give.
This is the law of the heavenly kingdom. Nothing whatever is given to us — to be kept for ourselves alone. Everything that is ours — is ours to use and then pass to others. God gives us his love, the most wonderful gift that even he has to bestow, but we are not to keep it. We are to love others as he loves us. If we do not love others, that is proof that we have not really taken the gift of God's love into our own heart. God gives us his mercy — he forgives us. We are to pass his forgiveness to others. The only real indubitable proof that we have received the divine forgiveness is that we are extending it to those who have wronged or injured us. "Forgive us as we forgive," we are to pray.
So it is of everything we get from God, the largest and the smallest blessings — we are to pass them on. Blessed of God in such a wonderful way — we are to be a blessing to others. If we but carried out his teaching and fulfilled this law of Christ's kingdom in every particular, it would make this earth a Heaven. Yet that is just what we should aim to do.
"Be a blessing." Make it personal. Look back and think of the people with whom you have come into contact today — to how many of these have you been a blessing? There are few of these who did not need something you could have given. Everybody is carrying a burden. Many have sorrows of which the world knows nothing of — for not all the world's grief hangs crape on the doorknob.
What are you really doing for people? What are you giving to them? There are some people who make the load of others heavier, instead of lighter. They are discouragers, rather than encouragers. One of the ways of being a blessing — is never to make life harder for another; never to be a hindrance; never to go to others with doubts and fears. This alone is a good thing — never be a discourager.
But that is only a negative way of being a blessing — blessing others by not harming or injuring them. It is better than being a plague to others, doing them injury. But it is not the kind of help God wants us to give. The divine command is, "Be a blessing." This calls for an active helping. Blessing is a noble word. It is a great thing to be a blessing to anyone. It is to bring him something from God, to do him good in some way that will make him better, stronger, and happier. We have had our cup filled with the love of God; now we are to share our blessing with others.
It is not easy to live a life of perpetual blessing to people. Jesus did it, but it was very expensive living for him.
"Virtue went out of him," to heal and help. He gave out something of himself to everyone he touched. We cannot do people much good, we cannot help them in deep and true ways, without cost to ourselves. What costs us nothing — is not worth giving. An old proverb says, "One cannot have omelet without breaking eggs." We cannot do anything worth while for others, without cost. If you begin to love another, you do not know what your loving will demand of you before you have finished its task. Christian love gives and serves and sacrifices unto the uttermost.
We need never fear the cost, however, when there comes to us an opportunity of being a blessing to another. Blessing for ourselves, depends upon our being faithful to every duty of love, regardless of the cost. If we shrink from the service because it is too much for us to do — then we miss the gift of God for ourselves, which is offered to us in the opportunity. The true and the beautiful life, is the one which seeks to be a blessing to every other life it touches.