#353 – Guilty Blessings

I hear about a lot of other youth pastors and the struggles they face in their jobs.

They have to work crazy hours.

They have to take vacation time to go to summer camp.

They have senior pastors who can’t remember their families’ names.

When I hear about the struggles they face, I end up feeling pretty guilty for how God has blessed me with the job that I have.

I love my church.

I thoroughly enjoy my job and the people I work with.

I’m proud to call my senior pastor my senior pastor.

God chooses to bless whom he’s going to bless and we shouldn’t argue about it. There are people far more deserving of God’s favor, though, who don’t appear to have been blessed as much as I have. I know I’m basically a screw-up, but God still chooses to bless me even when I don’t deserve it.

The reality is that none of us deserve God’s blessings. It seems like we have an easier time accepting the trials and struggles. It’s easier for us to understand the hardness of Battlestar Galactica than the utopia of Star Trek. But just like we can never hope to understand a God whose ways are not our ways, we’ll never fully understand why he chooses to bless some and not others.

Really, I don’t know why God orchestrated my life so I ended up in amazing job, with amazing people at a church where I met my wife. And I really don’t know why people better than me are unemployed, toiling in jobs they can’t stand or still looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right.

The ways in which God blesses us shouldn’t make us feel guilty. When God blesses us we should be grateful and then look for ways to bless others. Feeling guilty because of God’s blessings doesn’t do anyone any good; it keeps us from thanking God and thinking about others.

We just need to accept that God is good even if we don’t understand it, even if we think he should be good to others before he’s good to us.

If God is giving us Gene Roddenberry’s utopia then he wants us to bring that blessing to those aboard Galactica. We may not deserve that kind of blessing but it shouldn’t surprise us. God is good, he loves us and he wants to bless us. And when God does bless us we shouldn’t feel guilty, but we should strive to be like God by loving and blessing those around us.

How do you resolve with the guilt that comes with blessing?

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3 Responses to “#353 – Guilty Blessings”

  1. Wilko Olles Says:

    Awesome post.

  2. This post sounds familiar 🙂 Although I have to say, as someone who has been on the opposite side of the fence for most of my ministry career, I’m actually pretty grateful for a lot of it. Those few years of difficulty have given me insights and wisdom that have proved invaluable. I don’t know that I could have learned what I have in 20 years without those experiences, at least not with the same depth and understanding.

    There are of course days when I’m jealous, days when I wish it didn’t have to be that hard, days when I wonder if my hair would still be thicker if I had an easier route. But then I look at Paul, and I remember the life that he led. I remember what Jesus said to Ananias about the life he would lead: “I will show him how much [Paul] must suffer for my name’s sake,” (Acts 9:16 NLT) and I remember the joy he found in suffering and the privilege he counted it to suffer for the kingdom. When I remember those things, I think that I’m in good company. I may not be nearly as good as Paul was at being content, but over time I pray i’ll get there.

    In the end, I hope that one day I can be on the other side with you and feel guilty about the poor saps like me, but only if I learned everything this more difficult road has needed to teach me.

    (Oh, and for the record, I don’t feel nice enough to deserve the blessings of the near ideal setting, so I suppose it’s all a matter of perspective. haha)

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