Monday, March 30, 2009

God Bless You

How many times have we said to people "God bless you"? When we say "God bless you", how many times have we really meant it or believe that it will happen? Sad to say, "God bless you" has become a cliche for Christians (me included), something that we utter to replace "Goodbye" or "See you again".

I have heard that quite a few times at my stall. When some customers who are Christians discover that I am also a Christian, they say "God bless you" as they leave after they collect their orders. I usually reply with another cliche - "God bless you too"!

Of course, I believe that the tongue has the power of life and death (Prov 18:21) and would rather have people say to me "God bless you" rather than "God curse you" but sometimes I get the feeling that these 3 words "God bless you" are just empty words spoken by people who have no heart for you as a fellow Christian brother. It seems as if they are obligated to utter these 3 words to you for their own sake rather than yours.

I met at least two such Christian "customers" who have "blessed" me with these 3 words before but regularly buy desserts from another dessert stall (which, by the way, has a thai prosperity "god" installed inside) just two doors away. I see them only when the other stall is closed. Okay, you are probably thinking that maybe the other stall's desserts taste better than mine but at the risk of sounding arrogant, my desserts taste much better (based on testimonies from regular customers who have tasted the other stall's dessert too).

However, regardless whether my desserts actually taste better or not, they have the freedom to choose which stall they want to patronize but somehow their actions make those 3 words ring hollow in my ears. For someone in need, what he wants is not just your words of blessing but also your blessing in deeds.

I read in chrisitianpost.com a report about "The 100k Blessing" campaign started by Faith Community Baptist Church (FCBC) with the "aim to bless 100,000 lives for Christ". FCBC got its church members to commit "themselves to accomplish this churchwide mission by reaching out to individuals around them – including their loved ones, friends, colleagues or just about anybody that they meet – and praying for them in any areas of need that they are facing."

At first, when I saw the name of the campaign in the chrsitianpost.com article, I thought that it was about doing a kind act for 100,000 people but after I visited the FCBC website, I realized that the campaign was about praying for 100,000 people. Although this is a noble project and does have its own merit, I can't help but feel that it is well short of its full potential because its emphasis is on praying for somebody but does not include doing something for somebody as well.

For someone who is in financial need, having a fellow Christian pray over you and encourage you with scripture is good for the spirit BUT if another fellow Christian stuffs an envelope full of cash into your hands without saying a word to you, who do you think has really blessed you?

Yes, as Christians, the words we speak carry power but at certain times, actions do speak louder than words.

6 comments:

kingdavid said...

Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith. Gal 6:10


Surely one day I will come to eat your desserts. :)~~

GOD BLESS YOU, really!!
cos the bible said so...

Daughter Of Sarah said...

Amen to the last comment... God bless you richly, abundantly bro. AMEN!!! =D

Understand where you come from bro regarding dessert stall situation... we shall anoint and pray over the stall and buy desserts from you tomorrow. Hehe.

I didn't know about FCBC's movement. I once told Ian that I'd like to just go around the whole block one day asking people what prayer needs they have and pray with them... Regardless if they are Christians or not. Hopefully that can plant a seed in their hearts, and over time God will make it grow and take root so they will know Christ loves them too.

I guess it is a well-meaning project that FCBC is embarking on, and I guess my above little project is similar to their's tho' not focused on numbers haha. I am expecting more doors slamming on my face actually or suspicious looks. God grant me favour!!

I think it is good to start somewhere at least. And if praying helps, pray. Sometimes provision comes not from our own doing or means, but comes perfectly perfect from God. Whilst we can help, our Heavenly Father has even greater means to help, to bless, to redeem. Amen? Plus His way beats man's way anytime! Woohoo!

Joyce Meyer once discussed that if prayer is the first line of defence, why do we try to do other things first, then when we are resigned to our situation we utter "I guess all we can do now is pray to God."

Prayer should have been the first thought- to turn to Christ first before turning to Men! =)

So hmm I agree with you that action speaks louder than words by natural response/eyes/logic, but let us not forget that we don't speak powerless words as Christians today. When we pray the Word of God, the Word of Christos, it is written that it doesn't return to Him void! =D Our prayers are powerful and filled with God's creative power in the Holy Spirit! Praise God! =D

So in conclusion hor... I'd say do both! =D Hehehehe. =D *Grins* Long Zong Bao Ga Liao!! Hallelujah!

Stephanie said...

Hi Stanley,

I just like to remind you here.

From your post, I see that you look around(the customers) and look to self(your tasty desserts) for blessed income.

Why not look to Lord Jesus at the Cross that He had accomplished a PERFECT Work for your biz at the Cross and surely, by His Grace, you shall receive abundance!

Daddy God, I know You love Stanley too, By the Stripes of Jesus, may You prosper the biz at his stall as he turn to look at Your Abundance. I pray in Jesus Name! Amen & Amen!

Shalom!

Stanley Wong said...

Hi Stephanie & Geri,

Stephanie, you are scripturally correct to say that we look to Jesus for provision but from a practical point of view, since my job is running a dessert stall, isn't it normal for me to expect my regular income to come from customers? I do look towards Jesus for favour, for bringing customers to my stall while I do my part of producing tasty desserts.

However, you miss my point of using my customers as an example. I am not complaining that I am not getting business from those Christians and hence my income is affected. What I am saying is that their actions actually negate their words. Their mouths can say "God bless you" but their hands are not doing it.

I feel that many Christians are like that, just paying lip service by saying "God bless you" to someone in need instead of actually helping because words cost nothing.

Let me share another experience. I was actually situated at the first stall for over 4 years but moved to my present stall two doors away due to a dispute with my landlord. After I vacated the first stall, my now ex-landlord rented it out to his relative to sell exactly the same thing i.e. desserts.

Just before the first stall re-opened for business, a Christian regular customer said to me, "Don't worry. You are a child of God. God will bless you." However, when that stall finally opened, this same customer who encouraged me with those "christianish words" queued up over there to buy her dessert and continued to patronize that stall for months. Those words were scripturally correct but uttered without a real heart. If she had not uttered those words to me but just went to patronize that other stall, I would not feel hurt. But somehow, I felt betrayed - not by a customer, but by a sister-in-Christ.

Geri, I don't mean that praying for somebody is worthless but I feel that it means more to the person being prayed for when it is backed up by actual help extended if it is within our means.

For example, you walk past a blind lady selling tissue packets and stop to pray for her. It is good because "our prayers are powerful and filled with God's creative power in the Holy Spirit". However, I feel that the impact on the blind lady will be far greater if you bought some tissue packets first and then lay hands on her and pray.

Especially for non-Christians, who may not be receptive to a Christian praying for them, our actions speak of God's love for them louder than our prayers can.

Stanley Wong said...

Hi kingdavid,

hahahaha ... God bless you too ;-)

I look forward to meeting you ... your first dessert is free, really!!

Daughter Of Sarah said...

Hey Stan

Funny leh I replied haha but it didnt appear. I think it was becoz my internet connection was funky since last night. Discovered it was the wireless router. Eeks.

Connected the Eepc directly to the LAN so now can surf properly. To edify others, repeating what we shared earlier at the fellowship over breakfast with Angie and Jeff.

Like i was sharing, the Holy Spirit indeed teaches us all things. After I commented on your blog, I was led to watch Pastor's sermon, Fine Linen For Cool Service (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRE6V5RERiM)

It made it easier for me to understand better what you were trying to say. =D We need to not just be spiritual in our response but we need to work out our faith (not work for hor... pls listen to PP's sermon to see what I mean) in the way we choose to respond to a situation or to people. And it glorifies God.

Also, hearng from you about how they print cards for filling up and how it all gets a bit legalistic, that also gave a clearer picture about what was happening.

Anyone who wants to clarify doubts should just speak to Stan in person. Bro, your grace-filled logic is enlightening and witty. =) May God continue to bless you abundantly in all ways, to bless others so they see His glory and grace. AMEN!