Dave Ferguson, who wrote Five Ways to Bless Your Neighbors, uses the word bless as an acronym.
B – Begin with prayer, asking God how I can bless (serve, make cheerful) the people near me.
L – Listen to people as they share their joys, struggles and pains.
E – Eat. Listening isn’t quick; I need to take time to eat a meal or drink a cup of coffee together so I can build and maintain relationships.
S – Show love. As I listen to people and eat with them, they’ll tell me how I can love them.
S – Story. When the time is right I can share my story of how Jesus changed my life.
Doesn’t that sound like authentic faith? I simply do what I naturally do: gather with people, listen to their stories while we eat and drink, follow up in a way that shows I care for them, and tell my own story as it fits in the conversation.
Today I blessed my children, and they blessed me.
I asked them to join me for lunch at a restaurant near my son’s workplace. We ate. We talked about Halloween parties, friends, the election, who we’re not voting for, how much we loved the home where they grew up, music, time off for holidays, the latest sermon series topic, and how great it was to see each other. We hugged. And I gave my son leftover Halloween candy and three dozen freshly baked oatmeal cookies.
My heart was so full of joy! I treasure these light-hearted moments that bind our lives together.
Blessing the younger generation, the older generation, and those walking along side us in this manner reminds me of Jesus. He prayed. He listened. He ate. He loved. And he told His story.
I want to be like Jesus, blessing the people near me. That’s what he’s prepared me to do.