“I will bless you… so that you will be a blessing.”
In Genesis 12:2 God spoke these words to Abraham and, in doing so, laid out a principle for those of us four thousand years later who have chosen to live with Jesus as our Shepherd.
Think about blessings God has given you… and how you have used—or could use—them to bless others.
Maybe God has given you a tender heart, more sensitive to others’ emotions, more compassionate, and more easily wounded than most people’s. If this describes you, that tender heart may seem to you more like a liability than a means of blessing people.
But a tender heart makes for effective ministry when it’s a wounded and healed—or healing—heart.
I see that in the way my wife, Kristi, comes alongside women. Kristi knows pain, and she knows God’s healing. She understands from experience the heart-pounding risk of opening up and being vulnerable—and she knows the freedom that comes when she brings into the light the truth about all that caused her pain. She knows, too, the benefits of compassion, prayer, truly being known, and acceptance, life-giving benefits that come when we risk being vulnerable.
Henri Nouwen’s book The Wounded Healer (a phrase first used by psychologist Carl Jung) affirms people who have chosen the path of healing and then have—by God’s grace—allowed themselves to be used in other people’s lives. (See our Soul Shepherding article on “The Wounded Healer as a Spiritual Guide.”)
God redeems our pain as he brings healing to hurting members of his family through us. God gives us opportunities to share the Scriptural truths that he gave us as lifelines. And God gives us the privilege of coming alongside people to believe for them and to pray for them.
Even if you don’t think of yourself as having an especially tender heart, Genesis 12:2 still applies to you: God will bless you as he uses you to bless others.
Maybe people in church know you have been blessed with mechanical skills. When the single mom, just-laid-off family man, or recent widow needs an oil change or an expert ear to figure out what that sound is, you are there to help.
Maybe God gave you the gift of administration, and you oversee curriculum, Sunday school teachers, and child care workers.
Maybe God has blessed you with a healthy bank account, and you bless communities around the world by sponsoring children through Compassion International.
Maybe you teach junior high school kids about Jesus, and you have been part of the midweek program for years—and it’s truly a joy.
Whether you are a wounded healer or have a mechanic’s expertise, administrative skills, a strong investment portfolio, the ability to connect with junior high students, or any of countless gifts, you are blessed in order to be a blessing to others as you yield yourself to God.
Yes, Lord, show me how I can be a blessing to someone in need today by offering my heart and my gifts. Amen.
We love hearing from you!
“Jesus is the Good Shepherd looking for our lost emotions —
that brings to the forefront what intimacy with Jesus looks like!”
Margaret Snyder ~ Al-Anon Sponsor ~ Dana Point, CA
Read “Jesus Befriends Your Lost Emotions”
(a Preview from the book Bill and Kristi are writing)
Listen to “Boundaries For Tender Hearts”
(The newest podcast of “Soul Talks With Bill & Kristi Gaultiere”)
It’s a blessing when you share
Soul Shepherding with others!