Happy and Blessed
The word “blessing” is thrown around a lot, especially in Christian circles. We often equate it with material things (ex. – My new car is such a blessing), relationships (ex. – Knowing her is a blessing), or favorable circumstances (ex. – My roommate isn’t a morning person – what a blessing). When we say things like that, the message is clear. Our friends understand what we mean.
But as I read scripture, it’s important for me to realize that “blessed” (or a variant) isn’t always being used by the writer the way I use the word today. Often “blessed” could be translated as “happy” – an important thing to know in order to best understand the passage. Look at what I read this morning:
Blessed [happy] is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed [happy] is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit (Psalm 32:1-2).
This isn’t a “Too Blessed To Be Stressed” bumper sticker message or a “You really blessed me with those Pretzel M&M’s” thank you note; this is the heart cry of a man whose sin the Lord does not remember.
More than changing the way I think about the word “blessed,” this really shakes up my understanding of what it means to be happy. Suddenly “I’m so happy the sun is out” sounds a little bit wrong. David defined his happiness in terms of the Lord’s finished work in his life rather than the changing world around him or his own fluctuating emotions.
If the first couple verses of Psalm 32 apply to you, you have something to be happy about – today and forever!
Written by Abbey Le Roy, MA in Theological Studies from CIU's Seminary and School of Ministry
"Give us this day our daily bread." Matthew 6:11