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  • Jill Jarrell Newsome

Bless Your Heart

Growing up here in Wilmington, I often heard and said, “bless your heart.” Often I heard people say, “God bless you”. Sometimes it was meant as a blessing and later became a hidden meaning before someone gave an example, “‘You must have been out in the humidity, bless your heart,’ which is a passive-catty way of saying, ‘Your bouffant flopped and you're looking a bit like a soggy sheepdog.’" Hopefully, we are using it in a way to build people up. After hearing a recent sermon on blessings and writing about blessings I think I need to start responding, out loud or not, to "bless your heart" and "God bless you" with, “I receive it.”

“Bless” is a spiritual word. Jesus blessed His people! When children came to Jesus, He took them in His arms and He blessed them. After His resurrection, He lifted His hands and blessed the disciples. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said in Matthew 5: 3-4, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Jesus loved to bless His people. God commanded the priests to pray a blessing on His people. These people had been wandering in the wilderness and God wanted this blessing spoke over them over and over again. We are to speak blessings over people over and over again. This builds people up.

Our words have great influence in the lives of others. God has told us that words can bring death or life. Proverbs 18: 21, "The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." Proverbs 16: 24, "Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Proverbs 12: 25, "Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up." The power of spoken blessings comes from God and bring hope, encouragement and direction.

Life gets in the way and we get distracted and stressed and we lose our focus. Right now, I really have to try to stay focused. I truly cannot imagine having to do this life without God. When we speak blessings over others for them to hear, we hear it again! It helps put things in perspective. We tend to forget that the same God that created the universe and holds the stars in the sky knows every detail about us! Isaiah 40: 26, "Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing." He knows the exact numbers on our head. Luke 12: 7, "Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered." Matthew 10: 30, "And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered." He cares that much for us!

This same God has the power to cause things to happen in a split second that could take years for us to do. He can make our paths cross with the very person we need to meet or they need to meet us. He can open doors that could otherwise not open. He can slam a door shut and bolt it before we can try to open it. He wants what is best for us. Jeremiah 29: 11, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" When we are thinking about blessings we take our focus from the problem!

Let's memorize one of God's promises and make it our own. God's Word is called the Living Word because it is breathing, active and powerful today just like it was years ago. His Word holds life and wisdom for us which brings us peace and joy. Let's encourage others while encouraging ourselves! When someone prays a blessing upon us, let's reply with, "I receive it!"


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