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Blessed to be a BLESSING! - by The Very Rev. Dr. Herbert G. Hand

John Rockefeller “is widely considered the wealthiest American of all time and the richest person in modern history.” A reporter once asked him, “How much is enough.” He said, “A little bit more.” In other words, I must continue to amass more and more wealth at the expense of others to be satisfied, yet I won’t be. That is the way of the world! As King Solomon – reportedly the richest man who ever lived – said, “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his in-come; this also is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 5:10). In Deuteronomy 15:7-8, God also tells us that if there are poor brothers among us to, “…not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him…” To “shut your hand against your poor brother” is to withhold a blessing from God and keep if for yourself. Basil the Great said, “In burying your money you bury your heart.” Though the things money can buy brings temporary satisfaction, why does the accumulation of money not satisfy?

The accumulation of money does not satisfy because God didn’t design us that way. He designed us to acknowledge Him as the source of our provision, and to receive His blessings that we may be a blessing to others – Blessed to be a Blessing! The result of blessing others is not the fear of loss or the fear of scarcity. The result of blessing others with the blessing God has given you is joy, peace, and satisfaction. Blessing others with the provision God has entrusted to you is also an act of faith in God’s continued provision. As Hebrews 13:5 says, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” God will continue to provide when I love others more than hanging on to “my money.” If that won’t put a smile on your face, I don’t know what will!

In his wonderful book Margins, Richard A. Swenson, M.D., said, “God is honored by funnels and dishonored by sponges… Most of us look ‘up a ladder’ and notice that the wealthy have more than we do. This, of course, strikes a near fatal blow at one's contentment. If, instead, we reversed our gaze and looked down the ladder, our gratitude would thrive and opportunities for sharing would abound. … The normalization of envy is yet another reason why the achievement of contentment is difficult.” Though envy has been normalized in our culture, it is still one of the Seven Deadly Sins! Not only does envy harm you, but it blinds your eyes to God’s call to you to be Blessed to be a Blessing!

Rick Moore of Mission Viejo, California tells the story of a man who arrived in heaven. St. Peter escorted him past mansion after dazzling mansion until they came to a dilapidated shack at the end of the street. The man was stunned and said, “St. Peter, why am I stuck with a rundown shack when all of these other people have mansions?” “Well sir,” replied St. Peter, “we did the best we could with the money you sent us.” As Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you” (Luke 6:38). Anglican Bishop Steve Breedlove said, “If your giving does not affect your lifestyle, you have not yet begun to give.” Are you clinging to “your” wealth? Or are you keenly aware that God has blessed you to be a blessing? You are Blessed to be a Blessing!

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