Over a year ago I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. John Ortberg speak and he said numerous things that would be worthy of a writing, but one thing stuck out to me. Go and bless. It stuck out so much that I used it as the title for this blog. I have written several times about service and how impactful it is and I will write a lot more in the future about service but right now I am going to unpack these words, Go and Bless. I started this post right after I heard Dr. Ortberg speak in March of 2017. It has taken me this long to come back around and finish it.
Go and Bless. Seems simple, right? You’d think. There are two things that I think when I see Go and Bless. The first is the word Go. Go is an action word. It requires us to do something. Most of the time we fear action. The next question is often, where? Where should I go? And from there we can analyze even further. All of this questioning limits us and causes us to “never go.” We stay in the same spot and never move. The first hurdle is inaction.
The next part is Bless. The word Bless, much like Go, requires something of us. It requires grace and kindness. We could spend all day trying to decide who to bless and who not to bless. In our minds some are deserving and some are not. I’m sure Jesus is proud of us in those moments… That’s me being a turd. But I think sometimes we need to hear it. I for sure do. We are living in an age when going and blessing feels optional. Truthfully, I am in charge of where I go and who I bless, but is that how God intended me to treat this?
Honestly, I get fired up just typing things like this. It is literally something I wrestle with daily. There are times, every day when I have to catch myself and remind myself that it is not up to me. A blessing is to be given freely. And if they are not, it’s not the other person that is trapped, it’s me. We become slaves to guilt and anger and jealousy. The thought is that I am winning by not being kind to that person, they do not deserve it. In reality, if you have these thoughts, it also means you are fighting an internal battle. You are justifying your actions. But think about this, justification is only necessary when you have to defend yourself. And I think when you ask yourself the hard question, who are you arguing with? You will find that it is yourself. The tension is within us. We are the ones that are affected most by not freely giving ourselves to others. We are the ones that are wrestling insecurities.
My challenge to you is one that I have been working on for a while now. Go and bless everyone that you encounter. Maybe even more so to the ones that irritate you or hurt you. It’s a lofty goal and a tough challenge. I have by no means figured it out but I do think there have been some positive side effects. There’s some selfishness in blessing others. We tend to feel better about ourselves. A little more empowered. And each time you go and bless the easier it gets. Will it always be easy? No. But you’ll find yourself in places and conversations you never would have thought. And to me, that is worth it. That’s where Jesus lives.
So, next week I am going to write about going. All things go. What it can look like and how I try to put myself in new and different situations. Then, logically, I am going to get a little deeper into a blessing and how I try to make it a sustainable act.
That Sounds Fun Podcast: Ep. 102 & 103
Resonant Leadership – Boyatzis & McKee
The Me I want to Be – John Ortberg
Bethlehem Church – Unfinished Part 4
For the Love Podcast: Aug 28 episode (Imperfect Courage)