This is a spiritual, philosophical, theological kind of blog post. Feel free to move along if that’s not your thing. Back in August of 2008 our pastor did a series on Blessing. (If you want to find the podcasts, look up Grace Church Nashville on iTunes.) The gist of it was this:
Blessing is speaking what you want to happen.
Cursing is speaking what you don’t want to happen.
People tend to think blessing=prayer but they’re not the same. If you look in a Bible, you’ll see that blessings are statements, proclamations and sound much like prophesy. It’s not asking God to do something. It’s saying what you expect to happen. Examples: “Have a great day today.” “May your house sell quickly.” “You are going to be successful!” “I am going to stay healthy this winter.” “She is a good sleeper and she will sleep well tonight.”
It’s similarly misunderstood that cursing is not the same thing as swearing or cussing. Speaking a curse is speaking what you do not want to happen. This is a tricky concept and it took me a while to grasp it. Examples: “Today is a headed for a train wreck.” “My house took a year to sell so prepare yourself for the worst.” “If you keep that up, you’re going to end up in jail just like your Uncle Bill.” “I hope I don’t catch his cold.” “We’re in for a rough night.”
You can see how each of these statements in the curses list counter the blessing examples. The difference is what is acknowledged, what is spoken into the atmosphere.
Jason and I hear parents curse their kids all the time, and we cringe. Sleep is a biggie. You won’t ever catch Jason or I saying, “Oh, that late, long nap might mess up her sleep.” Or, “She can’t nap in a noisy restaurant!” Or “She missed her morning nap—she’s going to be grumpy.” We don’t bother articulating those worries. Instead we just say and expect what we hope will happen.
Now is a good time to interject and say, I know that all kids are different. I know that Precious is super easy going and surely part of that is her nature. However, I firmly believe that blessing and cursing play a huge role. Here’s what we would say instead in those situations, blessings over our daughter: “She’s catching up on her sleep today.” Or, “I love that we can take her anywhere and she goes with the flow.” Or “Oh well, she’ll make up for that nap later.”
I’m sharing this because these fundamental truths have tremendously changed our lives. You don’t have to believe me but if you look around, I think you’ll see the evidence. It applies everywhere in my life: my relationship with Jason, my attitude towards myself, the words we speak over our home, our daughter, our future, our vehicles, our dog, our friends, our careers.
My job—that’s another big one for me. At one point, not long before I learned about blessing, my company went through a really tough time, laid off a bunch of people, had pay cuts, etc. I called our corporation a sinking ship. I spoke that curse over my employer. Once I realized it, I took it back. I decided that if I wanted to see my company succeed and my job continue to exist, I needed to speak blessings over it. So I started walking through the halls every morning and speaking blessings over my co-workers and my company. Things like, “We will do well this year. The Lord has provided for us and He will continue to do so. May so-and-so work hard today and stay focused. I bless my co-workers that they will have great ideas, creativity, efficiency and motivation. I say as company we will have integrity, we will have influence in our community…”
It may sound like wishful thinking, denial or some new-agey universalist idea. The truth is that it’s a Biblical principle and it works, whether or not you give God the credit. Even if you don’t believe me, just try it for a few days or weeks. I bet you’ll notice a difference. What do yo have to lose?
I feel very strongly about speaking blessings not just into my own life but in the lives of others. It DOES make a difference!
being agnostic i feel i shouldn’t use the word ‘blessing’ in the same context as you do, but i completely agree with the wonderful effect avoiding negative statements and striving to make positive statements can make. thank you very much for your post.
thank you for your words, I’ll do that.
I am always excited by your blog, but this entry is totally what I needed to hear. It is such a reminder to speak truth over our kids, family, friends, and coworkers. Such a great piece of advice for keeping our minds and environments clean and receptive to all that God has in store for us.
This is like my personal goal to be more positive than negative. I try to “count my blessings” and be thankful for everything I do have in my life instead of dwelling on things I wish I had. If I find myself dwelling too much on the negative stuff, I try and think about what I could do to change my situation so that I could look upon it in a more positive light.
I also try and smile and laugh as much as possible! It really helps!
Beautiful thoughts. Thanks so much for sharing. I’m 10 weeks away from our due date with our first and we’ve been talking about things like this so much. Just last night I had someone ask me if I feel her much and I said she loves to kick and has recently discovered my ribs. They immediately said, “uh oh, she’s going to be a feisty one.” I told my husband later that I was really kind of offended that someone was speaking negatively over our child already. I don’t understand why people speak so negatively over their children and then are surprised when it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Thanks for sharing such wonderful thoughts!
I think it’s a great lesson! I’ve had a problem with my attitude at work for several years, and though things seem to be better now b/c of Josh getting a new job, my whole attitude has changed b/c I finally feel like we are moving in the right direction, where God wants us, instead of just staying stagnant in what we know and are comfortable with. Josh has a job that will allow new opportunities, healthcare, vacations, etc. And I’m studying to take a certification test for Interior Design as well as working with fellow designers in trying to make a Greater Erie-based network for Interior Designers to learn and grow. It’s all about speaking blessings and I think that a lot of that has to do with your attitude!
I believe this too, but don’t hear it spoken about too much in our circle. I have linked to this post in my current post.
A similar concept that is harder to realize when you’re doing it is; saying what you hope doesn’t happen. Great post baby! You are awesome!
I am relatively new to your blog, and thoroughly enjoying it. I especially appreciate your willingness to take on a topic such as this. It seems to me you were able to share your belief clearly using your own lives as an example.