By Samantha McKenzie
God is not in the business of rewarding us with material possessions. Yet, too often, we hear people say they were blessed with a new house, or with a new car, a new job or some shiny object. These are blessings indeed, but they originate from other means. We accumulate these things from successfully maneuvering in an economic world that rewards us for participating in it. In these instances, we should thank God for the discipline to save our earnings. Or the ability to learn the science of money and the aptitude to use this knowledge to purchase things that we want to have.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a common habit to be thankful for receiving anything and we, believing people, find it comforting to give praise for it. But what about the poor farmer who works relentlessly… shouldn’t she see the same rewards?
Our blessings should not be equated to our possessions. And God’s blessings shouldn’t come with a price tag.
We are taught, in varying ways, the art of having things, to work harder and smarter, to save and to use credit wisely. We learn the discipline required to attain the things we want to have. And there’s nothing wrong with that. We should count ourselves fortunate to live in a country that has an abundance of things that make life easier. If you happen to live in a place with a thriving economic system, your chances of receiving more are definitely increased.
It’s perfectly okay acquiring wealth or material possessions. I too, like many, divide my personal economy to supply both my needs and wants. I work every day to pay bills and splurge on things I desire and squirrel away a portion for the future. But I’m clear that these things are the rewards of mankind. We do the things that bring us some level of happiness and if we really like it a lot, we do it as often as possible. We pay, sometimes steeply, for this privilege.
But I don’t believe that God shows favor on certain people, and turns His back on others. That I somehow did all the right things and well, maybe you didn’t. Or that America is super blessed because she has extreme power or wealth. Israel is no more blessed than Palestine. Poorer countries who lack common things like clean water or enough food are not being punished nor are they cursed. Wealthy corporations aren’t blessed by God. Just as privileged people who have an abundance aren’t necessarily favored. Somehow, in our zeal to equate happiness to things, we managed to marginalize God’s intentions and trivialize his thinking into ours. We changed His favors into a caste system.
God’s greatest blessing to all is life.
We are blessed to have His abundance of love. We shouldn’t take for granted that most of us are blessed with a sound mind. We have the awesome ability to exercise good will upon others. None of this requires money. When you separate us from our wealth, we are left to see God’s true blessings and favor, like a good healthy character. People who are kind are blessed. People who are generous are blessed. People who can find joy in the simplest of life’s conditions are truly blessed. We are blessed when we use our knowledge, wisdom and sensibilities to care for ourselves and others. When we do good for goodness sake. And when there’s no cameras around. These are the blessings we should be grateful for.
His blessings are not rooted in our economy.
We are blessed with extraordinary amounts of creativity and will power. Our gifts from God include intelligence and a keen ability to solve problems. Forgiveness is a blessing. Happiness is a blessing. Courage is a blessing too. The idea to still love in the midst of trying times, is truly another blessing. God’s blessings bestowed upon us are endless.
Remember to thank God for all that you have acquired. But most of all thank him earnestly, and often, for the blessings He has bestowed IN us all.