Several years back, the hashtag #blessed really took off on social media. Certainly, there were well-meaning folks who tagged themselves #blessed. However, after a while, many began to identify the trend as annoying and slightly ridiculous.
In an article titled “Why #blessed is the most annoying hashtag on Instagram,” one author wrote, “#Blessed might as well read #bragging.” Celebrities were showcasing themselves with posh clothing, luxurious cars, and opulent lifestyles—but it wasn’t boasting, of course, because they were #blessed! #Blessed had essentially just become a self-centered flaunting of good feelings and happy circumstances.
#Blessed had essentially just become a self-centered flaunting of good feelings and happy circumstances.
But is that really what being blessed is all about?
The biblical understanding of blessing is very different. Rather than being self-centered, biblical blessing is both God-centered and others-centered. It is God-centered in that true blessing comes from God. To be blessed is to be the recipient of God’s divine and gracious favor. It is also others-centered in that God always blesses people so that they can bless others. The foundational Scripture for this is God’s remarkable blessing of Abraham in Genesis 12:2: “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” We are blessed to be a blessing.
As Christ-followers and descendants of Abraham, we have been graciously blessed with the greatest gift of all—abundant life in Christ, both now and forever. God certainly wants us to enjoy our blessed status, but we must never forget that blessing also implies responsibility. We must bless others with the love of Christ so that they too can enjoy his blessing.
That is why we are thrilled about the BLESS intentional evangelism initiative. Evangelism too often receives a bad rap today, but perhaps that is because of the way it has so often been done. True evangelism is not about making a sale. True evangelism is about extending a blessing—and BLESS is a simple acronym that shows us how to do that.
We Begin with prayer, acknowledging that we need God’s power to successfully extend God’s blessing.
We Listen with care. Evangelism is typically associated with talking at people rather than hearing from people, engaging authentically and listening to their stories. When we listen, people feel loved—and they are also much more willing to listen to us in return.
Next, the fun one: we Eat together. Think about this—many of Jesus’s most significant interactions involved some kind of food or drink. There is something about breaking bread together that creates meaningful and lasting connections. Once we understand people’s needs, we can Serve with love, imitating our Savior “who did not come to be served but to serve” (Matthew 20:28).
And finally, we take the risk to Share the story of how Jesus is transforming our lives and the world. By God’s grace, as we bless others in these tangible ways, they too will receive the blessing of eternal life in Christ.
You can learn more about BLESS at CovChurch.org/BLESS.
Being blessed is a joy indeed—but not because of fleeting happy feelings or circumstances. Being blessed gives us the great joy of extending God’s blessing to the world—making more disciples, among more populations, in a more caring and just world. We have been blessed to be a blessing. As we live this out together, we will reclaim the true meaning of being #blessed.