It seems that no matter how many times Scripture deals with it we are insistent on getting it backwards. Israel got it wrong and so many others have up to our present day. We insist on looking for blessings for ourselves whereas Yahweh's intention is to bless others through us. Jesus taught from that attitude, Paul stressed it and we find it throughout Scripture. I am going to use one simple verse from the early days to emphasize my point.
We all know Abraham was a man blessed by Yahweh. He was called out from his country and told to go to a new land. He was told that if he obeyed Yahweh he would be made into a great nation. We see how the Lord blessed him, multiplied his possessions, and made him a man of great influence in a foreign land. But have you examined exactly what Yahweh promised?
"I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing." (Genesis 12:2)
From the very beginning Israel was intended to be a blessing to the world. The Lord never just pours his blessing in to be stored up and lived on. Consider the manna he sent in the desert. It wasn't sent once a week but every day. It was a blessing renewed every day. His blessings are renewed in us every day so that they are like a flowing stream, not to be dammed up but to be freely shared.
When Jesus gave his authority to his disciples and sent them out to minister, he told them:
"Freely you have received, freely give." (Matthew 10:8)
We have received tremendous blessings of love, grace, forgiveness, compassion, and these we are to give to others freely. But we have also been blessed with power. Jesus told his disciples to use that power freely to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead and cast out demons. It wasn't about them but those the Lord was sending them to, to bless.Whatever gifts of the Spirit we have been given we are to be generous in the sharing and bless those to whom the Lord has sent us.
I don't think many of us have problems with this until it comes to our wallet. So often we can gauge our spiritual maturity by our attitude with our finances. With the rich young man that came to Jesus, it was his stumbling block and Jesus knew it. It is why he told him to get rid of it and then come follow him. Money is not ours to possess but a blessing we are stewards over. It doesn't belong to us, and like the Macedonians, we should hear when the Lord says to share the blessing, even when we have little of it:
But not us, because we have it backwards. We think that it is all about us. He don't see that we have been saved for others. We don't see that we have been blessed for others. We don't see that our life is about others. We honestly think it is about us and other people are missing out on an experience of Jesus because of it. Let's pray that the Lord will be gracious and show us more clearly his desire for our days and that we will deny ourselves for Jesus and others.