"I will bless you ... and you will be a blessing," -- from Genesis 12:2
This is a popular time of year for following the advice of the old hymn which instructs, "Count your many blessings, name them one by one." It's a good practice, and a good season to practice it. It's helpful to remember the many ways in which God has been good to us and we should do it often. However, counting your blessings is only the first step.
The real purpose is making your blessing count. Being blessed is always an invitation to be a blessing, and God's gifts were never meant to stop with the people who receive them.
In other words, blessings are not things we should collect, but things we should conduct. Collectors set things aside without really using them. Conductors, on the other hand, let things pass through. In fact, the root of the word "conduct" is "conduit," which is a channel that lets something flow through. So when a thing passes on electricity or heat it is a conductor and a non-conductor when it doesn't. When it comes to blessings, Christians should never be non-conductors.
Whatever God has blessed you with, He didn't intend for you to keep to yourself. We are not blessing collectors, stashing away our mint condition gifts from God trying to keep them like-new and unused. No, we are to be conductors, who allow blessings to flow through us into the lives of others. Whenever God blesses, it is to be shared. Of course wasting is a terrible way to treat blessings, but so is hoarding. Blessings are meant to be used! Sure, you might still remember to count them once in a while, but that's of little good if you didn't make them count. "Thanks" is only half the name of the holiday. To be complete it takes "Giving."
I don't know about you but I don't want to enter heaven with my mint condition, new in package blessing collection. I want to tumble in with empty hands and a full heart, wild-eyed and breathless like a kid off a roller coaster saying, "That was awesome!" I want to thank God, not for all the stuff I got to keep, but for all the blessings I got to share. I want to enjoy what I have (which is not the same as to enjoy having it), and I want to conduct God's grace, love, joy, peace, and hope, not collect it. I don't want to be satisfied with being blessed, I want to be a blessing. I want to give, so I'm ready to receive.
Chances are, if you are reading this, you too have been blessed. I would guess that God has been good to you in lots of different ways. I hope you take the time to "Give Thanks" this week, and regularly. I hope you sit down and count your blessings and it's a long list. But what I really hope, and what I think God hopes, is that you then figure out how to make those blessings count in the name of Jesus. When it comes to blessings, be a conductor, not a collector.
In the name of the One from whom all blessings "flow." Amen.
By Clint Loveall
Spirit Lake First Presbyterian Church