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Blessings

by Krissy Hanna

Lately I’ve been thinking about blessings.

The Bible is full of people being blessed and people blessing others. I believe that there is strong purpose behind this practice. Yet, these days, it feels as though there may be more curse spewing happening than blessings being shared. 

I wonder if we’ve forgotten that there is Power (capitalized on purpose) and responsibility residing behind and in the words of a believer. Our words have enormous influence in the lives of the people around us.  The words we speak can bring hope, encouragement, and guidance to our families, friends, and those we interact with in our community or our words can hurt. Wouldn’t we rather help?
 
A spoken blessing is a positive, loving, biblical truth that encourages God’s blessing in the life of another. Ephesians 4:29 says “Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen.”
 
I want my words to be beneficial.
 
Rabbi Isaiah Rothstein says:

“The melodies and rhythms of Jewish blessings have served as the cultural glue for Jewish daily practice for thousands of years. There are blessings over food and drink, upon leaving the bathroom, before going to sleep and during life cycle events. Jews who pray three times a day recite dozens of blessings.
The *Talmud (Menachot 43b) states that each person is obligated to recite 100 blessings each day, suggesting that the way to live connected to the Divine is through living a life immersed in blessings, in gratitude. This is so important to the Jewish tradition that the sages wrote (Brachot 35a) that it is forbidden to benefit from the world without making a blessing.”


God, teach us how to speak words of life, truth and blessing to the people around us. 
 

*The Talmud is a 2nd century collection of Jewish laws and traditions.