- National Burger Day (hell yeah!)
- Bruno Mars Carpool Karaoke
- George and Amal Clooney’s babies
- New cars.
I particularly like this post by Spot on the top 10 #Blessed Humble Brags.
Because that’s essentially what #blessed seems to be. Apart from being an amusing way to celebrate the little things in life (I’m looking at you Reece’s Cups full of Reece’s pieces), it’s a way for people to boast about their lives while pretending to be humble by paying lip service to God.
I’m not sure people have fully grasped the implications of their humble brag though: that they have been favoured by God over others.
Does God Play Favourites?
In Deuteronomy 28, Moses who is near death, lays out the rules and expectations for the Hebrews before they enter Jordan (the promised land). It says in verses 1-4:
If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:
You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.
The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.
Interpreting Deuturonomy 28 literally, may give the reader a false ego boost. If a person reading these verses has a prosperous and successful life (in a materialistic sense) they might interpret their success as a direct sign of their excellent behaviour and correct beliefs about God.
It provides wealthy fundamentalists with an even bigger platform to say “I’m right and your wrong – just look at how blessed I am. Clearly God is on my side”.
Worse yet, it implies the reverse must also be true. Nations that are poor or people who are struggling must not have God’s favour.
So how can I completely ignore a portion of the Bible?
Well aside from the fact it is generally agreed that Deuteronomy was written in the 7th Century and not the literal words of Moses (which is fairly significant in itself), it’s just quite clearly not true.
Not all “obedient Christians” are blessed with materialistic wealth and atheists aren’t all cursed with poverty.
#Blessed vs Blessed
The New Testament (and basic human decency) tells us that Deuteronomy is no longer meant to be God’s law. The New Testament is grounded on God’s love and grace. We do not earn God’s love or favour.
The Beatitudes in Matthew 5 do not ‘bless’ the rich, the proud or the bold. But rather the poor, persecuted and meek are blessed. In the New Testament blessings are spiritual not materialistic.
God is not some judgemental genie handing out new cars to his favourite followers. God is there to love and guide us towards better decisions, justice and compassion – wherever we are in life, whatever our resources.
I would offer a new addition to the definition of blessed for the dictionaries:
Blessed: ˈblɛsɪd,blɛst/ adjective: a person who is presently suffering difficulties.
So by all means, be grateful for your materialistic possessions, your health and your happy experiences. Just don’t lay claim to divine favour.
Be humble, not a humble bragger.
Unless you want to celebrate National Burger Day. Then go nuts. #Blessed.