4.6 God's blessing

By "blessing" we understand God's loving care. Blessing is synonymous with God's saving and healing activity upon both mankind and the creation. Its antithesis is curse, which occurs when God turns away from man.

The conviction that man's entire existence is dependent on God's blessing points to an image of mankind that derives from belief in God as the almighty Creator and Sustainer of all creation. On their own, human beings are not capable of shaping their lives in such a way as to benefit themselves, their fellow human beings, or the creation.

Curse, being the opposite of blessing, came upon human beings when they rebelled against God with the fall into sin. Curse incorporates everything that leads human beings away from God and everything they experience in this condition: they are filled with agitation and strife, and are abandoned to corruption and death. They cannot find any help in and of themselves, but rather only in God.

Grace redeems from the curse of having fallen prey to sin. By grasping the gifts of God in faith and allowing the Lord to lead them, human beings can partake in blessing.

God often imparts His blessing through human beings commissioned by Him for this purpose.

Blessing is comprehensive and has its effect on a human being as a whole. It contains divine power and brings mankind the promise of future salvation. Blessing is an expression of God's loving care, which no one can earn. To be blessed means to receive good things from God. No one can bless himself. Nevertheless, human beings are called upon to pray for God's blessing and to conduct themselves in such a manner as to show themselves worthy of this blessing.

Blessing unfolds when faith is present. Blessing is a gift of God that continually renews itself. Whether it is of lasting effect depends not least of all on the attitude and conduct of the person being blessed. If the latter acts in accordance with God's favour, he will in turn become a blessing to others.

Blessing can extend beyond the life of its direct recipient and carry over to future generations.

See also