Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Blessings and Cursings

Twice in 24 hours I have encountered different Bible passages that talk of blessings and cursings -- can't be a coincidence so I've been thinking about it.

The first passage is Luke 6, Luke's version of the Beatitudes. In the more familiar arrangement of the Beatitudes (from Matthew 5) we find a series of "Blessed are the" and the list includes peacemakers, poor in heart, etc. As I understand the culture of Jesus time the polar opposite is assumed. Therefore, blessed be the peacemaker it is assumed that the warmonger would be not blessed but cursed. In Luke 6, we get the parallels spelled out. Blessed are the poor -- cursed are you rich; Blessed are you who mourn -- cursed are you who rejoice; and so forth. The life of faith is a life of judgement. We have to make choices. We can either choose to live a blessed life or we can choose to live a cursed life.

The second passage is in James 3. This came up in my Monday night Bible study last night. James tells us, in a passage about learning to control our tongues, that blessings and cursings should not proceed from the same mouth. And, yet, how often is this case. How amazingly easy it is to say "God bless you" walk out the door, get in our cars and pronounce hell fire and damnation on all the other drivers on the road (or at least one or two in particular). How can the same source, our very lips and tongue, produce what uplifts and what drags down? How can the same organ, the mighty little tongue, be a source of hurt and healing almost simultaneously? James says, a fountain cannot produce clean and brackish water at the same time.

Once again, as my life is transformed, I get to choose. Will I be a blessed person and live a lifestyle conducive to that blessing? Will I be a blessing to others or a curse on the lives of others?

Be a Blessing,

Dr. BJ

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