Defining what brings us God’s favor and what does not
As Christians, we are clearly taught to live our lives in harmony with God’s will and His ways by following in the footsteps of Jesus. We all know this challenge is one we can never fulfill with perfection. We all have experienced failure along these lines. Because we are imperfect, God expects us to fail, and yet He blesses us. Does this mean He accepts us as we are? Does this mean our sinful thoughts and actions can actually be sources of blessing? How many times have you made mistakes in judgment or action, yet still saw God’s blessing and providence come through? How do we properly interpret our experiences to reflect what God is blessing us for and leading us through?
Is this a no-win scenario?
Let’s get right to the point: our sins can never produce blessings! On the surface this perspective seems to be harsh, even cruel. No matter what we do in this human life, we can never be rid of our sinful nature. If our sins cannot produce blessings, then it seems we are in an absolute no-win scenario. It feels like this idea of our sins never producing blessings is a proclamation of doom. Because I sin, God cannot bless me.
Do we miss the mark?
Nothing is further from the truth! To understand how this works, we need to understand that sin according to the Bible means “to miss the mark.” Translation: any thought pattern that ends up with less-than-perfect conclusion is inherently sinful. Any action performed with less-than-perfect execution is inherently sinful. We are always “missing the mark” even though we are desperately trying to hit it! While this sounds depressing, it is actually where we begin to see the seeds of blessing being sown.
Understanding what it means to be blessed by God is the other critical piece that needs to be put in order. Blessing in Scripture does not necessarily equate to ease or the accumulation of stuff. While these things can be an outgrowth of blessing, they are grossly overrated as evidence of God’s care. Turns out that for God to bless us and for us to bless God (It is the same word in the Bible for "bless") has everything to do with appreciation. The magnitude of this thought in conjunction with understanding what sin is cannot be overstated.
Check out our April 27, 2020 podcast, “Can Our Sins Ever Produce Blessings?” for more. We take a deep dive into the role our efforts to please God play in the sin/blessing equation. We look at a national sin of Israel and trace God’s ability to bless His people in spite of it. We highlight a personal sin of someone with great power and influence, and trace God’s blessing as a result of repentance. We also get practical with the personal sin of someone most of us don’t know much about and again see how blessings follow. In all these cases, it is NOT the sin that produces blessing. Finding out what DOES bring God’s blessing will brighten your day!
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