I have had a couple of enquiries based on my last posting, about antiprayer. When we bless someone, isn’t this a form of directed prayer? Are you suggesting therefore that it is wrong to bless? No, of course not! Hence this corrective article, together with a few extra thoughts.
Christians frequently end their letters by saying “God bless you”, and rightly so. We are invoking a blessing from the Lord upon our friends, and that is good. But Jesus said, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you,” which is much harder to put into practice. Paul reinforced this by saying, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.”
So what does it mean to bless someone? The Greek word is EULOGEO, EU meaning well, and LOGEO to speak. Hence to bless is to speak well of someone. It is the opposite of “curse”, which means to speak bad words, or have bad thoughts about someone.
Why is it necessary to speak well of all, including those who curse us, who persecute us, or who have bad thoughts about us? James had the answer when speaking about the power of the tongue, “With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in the likeness of God.” Each person is part of the world-pool of humanity. Each person has been created in the image of God, and is therefore an integral part of His plan and purpose. Hence the need to remember this and control the tongue when thinking of others.
Jesus’ death and resurrection was His way of blessing all mankind. Peter, at Pentecost, addressed the Jews who were collectively responsible for Jesus’ death, but he said, “God, having raised up his Servant, sent Him to you first, to bless you in turning every one of you from your wickedness.” If Jesus so loved His enemies as to die for them, and in resurrection bless them, none of us have a right to utter a word of ill towards any human being.
And so I conclude by asking myself, am I practising this? Am I trampling on all bad thoughts about those I find unacceptable? Or do I pray a curse on a brother by trying to manipulate his life, rather than asking God to bless him and help him? God forbid! I must learn always to bless others, even as God has blessed me.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing.”
References: Matt.5:44, Romans 12:14, James 3:9, Acts 3:26, and Ephesians 1:3