Have you ever thought about the difference between a burden and a blessing? I never have until now. I’ve taught bible classes small and great on a variety of biblical topics, yet never have I thought about the difference between a burden and a blessing. I’ve taught books of the bible, yet I’ve never even thought about this subject. Sometimes it’s the smallest things that make the biggest difference.
In order to know the difference between a burden and a blessing, we must define blessing. We live in a society with such a consumer mentality, that the popular, yet unspoken definition of a blessing is someone or something that we can profit from. Being a blessing is so much more than providing a profit. We tend to bypass that which doesn’t benefit us in some way. We have such a selfish mentality in society today that we’ve lost our way when it comes to being a blessing. We like to talk about how this is a “dog eat dog” world, but truthfully, all that does is contribute to a cannibalistic society both emotionally and spiritually.
It would do us good to turn off the smart phones and TV’s and laptops and tablets and the rest of our electronic leashes, and actually remove the dust from our God given brain long enough to think without expecting a profit. We need a new and clearer way of thinking these days. Receiving a blessing from someone is so much more than physical gain. Think about it like this: Receiving monetary or physical profit from someone who is a blessing is like Bill Gates writing you a check just large enough to cover a meal on the dollar menu. They have much more to give and you have much more to receive.
A blessing may come in the form of a mere handshake or maybe a hug or a gentle kiss on the cheek. A blessing could very well take on the form of a kind and encouraging word. Something I have come to learn over the last several years is that a gift is something that is temporal, but a blessing is eternal. I have received many gifts in my life and there are times when eventually these gifts become nothing more than a display of several inches of dust or just something that is taking up needed space. I have discarded and threw in the garbage things that have been gifts over the years, but a blessing will last forever. That encouraging word or that long hug will last a lifetime. Maybe just a kind word of encouragement to someone who is struggling and needs encouraging can be more of a blessing than you realize. A blessing may be in the form of a smile when all someone sees is frowns. A blessing may come in the form of someone who helps you to see the forest in spite of the trees.
A blessing is given by someone who cares, and that’s what makes it so special. Anybody can give a gift, but it takes someone special to be a blessing. You see, a blessing is unique because the giver of the blessing actually receives more of a blessing than the other person.
We are surrounded daily by blessings that we fail to even realize. We are blessed to have a family that loves us and cares about us. Warm meals to fill our stomach and a roof over our heads are blessings that we seem to frequently forget give thanks for. We are surrounded by blessings that may even be as simple as the soft pillow you will lay your head on tonight. Our days are full of blessings if we will just look and see them.
A burden is just something that we can put up with temporarily and may meet a temporary need, but a blessing lasts forever. A blessing has more value than any amount of money or physical possessions ever could.
God help me to be a blessing and not a burden. I want to be the one that provides that encouraging word or that gentle hug to someone in need. I want to be an inspiration to someone who has lost their way or doesn’t know where to go from here. May God help me to ever be alert for opportunities to be a blessing and to recognize my daily blessings!
“The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.” — Proverbs 11:25