Should BLESSINGS Become EXCUSES?

By Darwin Hunter

 

We are a yew blessed people.  America is a land of abundance.  We do not believe that such bounty is accidental, nor do Christians attribute wealth to “good luck.”  We firmly believe, as we often pray, that such a condition is because of God’s providential blessings.  The Psalmist declared his confident belief that it is God who “daily loads us with benefits” (Psalms 68:19); The sweet singer of Israel also constantly made it his aim to “forget not all His benefits” (Psalms 103:2).  God’s Old Testament people were reminded that the promised land which they had received was to be considered as God’s blessing to them, not something which they had earned (Deuteromony 8:7-10). They were to view such an inviting land as God’s gracious provision for them, as much as they had viewed their preservation in the wilderness as God’s bountiful care (Deuteromony 8:1-6).

Even so, we are blessed by God to live in a land flowing with milk and honey, too—one blessed with a standard of living of which most of the world can only dream.  But, unfortunately, we are not as thoughtful, or as thankful for these blessings as we ought to be.  And, even more sadly, we often attribute our wealth to being a more intelligent and industrious people than the rest of the world, which is simply not true.  In other words, we break our arms patting ourselves on the back for what we have accomplished, rather than wearing out our knees thanking God for what He has given!

With such a mentality, we become proud and boastful, instead of humble and thankful.  And beyond that, we also let the very things God grants as His blessing to interfere with sacred duties.  God sends the blessing of rain (Acts 14:17; Matthew 5:45), but then we refuse to get out in the rain to get to the church building to worship Him!  God showers us with our daily bread in answer to our prayers, and then we overindulge in His food blessings and endanger our health (Matthew 6:11)!  God abundantly provides us with monetary blessings, but we selfishly use it up for ourselves, and are not rich toward God (Luke 12:16-21).  God provides us with good jobs which allow us more time off than past generations had, and yet we use that extra time for over-recreating ourselves to rob God of service and worship (Luke 8:14).  God grants us the marvelous blessing of children (Psalms 127:lff), and we excuse ourselves from bringing them to worship because they are too disruptive in the assembly (Hebrews 10:25).

Beware of allowing your blessings to become excuses for not serving God (Luke 14:16-21)!  I fear that our generous God might just take a very dim view of that!