[B]
I heard a speaker once define blessing as “wanting the very best for someone and being willing to do whatever it takes to make that best happen.” As a Southern girl I say “bless your heart” often, and when someone near me sneezes I immediately say “bless you.” I can’t help it! (I even sign “Blessings” before my signature in letters. “Love” seems too personal and “Regards” not personal enough.)

But real blessing is big. It’s a commitment.

God’s words in Romans 12:14 tell us, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.”

Persecution can mean prison and torture to the point of death but in our reality it’s dealing with those who persistently annoy and trouble you. They are present in your life and not likely to leave, so how do you bless them?

To really bless someone you have to begin from a place that is free of the expectation they are going to change. Then you pray for them. Ask God to remind them of the depth of His love for them and their worthiness in His eyes. Our understanding and embracing of these two things are critical if we are to live and love as Jesus did. Pray they see their need for the forgiveness Jesus died to give them and that they will ask Him for it.

Then pray for yourself by asking God to give you His mercy, compassion and kindness. It’s almost impossible to behave this way when you don’t feel it…but God gives us His mercy and kindness. He pours it into us so we can then pour it out on others. It’s not ours, but His. Ask Him to show you everything good — or even anything good — about the other person and then thank Him for even the smallest thing.

When I invite God to work in the midst of these relationships, it allows me to breathe and changes my perspective. When I ask God to show me what He sees, He often answers by showing me myself, and reminding me of all the ways I am blessed by Him. Then for the next few moments I can commit to be a blessing. And when I say “bless your heart,” I mean it.

Who do you need to bless today? Share your thoughts below.

One of a series of posts on Alphabet Faith. See them all HERE.

Written by Elizabeth Murphy