The latest episode of Upside Down, our podcast featuring “unscripted conversations on life and faith” dropped yesterday!
(Yeah, dropped. I said it. Who do I think I am, K-Ci & JoJo? #throwback)
Episode 3 focuses on the oft-used hashtag “blessed.”
As in, #blessed
Our editor joked that we came in a little hot on this one – it’s obviously something we felt strongly about as we teased it out a little. But truly, we can only talk about it because we’ve used it too, and we’re reconsidering. We’re inviting you to join us as we think about what we’re saying when we associate something like being blessed, which is a rich biblical term, with our stuff.
We get a little deeper too, talking about the prosperity gospel, which is no gospel at all. The Gospel of Jesus brings hope to the hopeless, it affirms the dignity of every human being when nothing else will, or perhaps more importantly, before anything else will. And at one point I talk about how it says to all of us – it is better that you were born.
That’s something those of us living in comfort and privilege don’t necessarily wonder all that often. Or maybe you have asked that, I don’t know. It’s probably not in the same way that one would if we were the poor Christian mom in Haiti we reference in the show. We have hope in this life, or we can grasp some, at least most of the time. But when we expand our thoughts to a global level, thinking about Christians under persecution in the Middle East, children being sold into sex slavery in foreign countries and in our own backyards, and Jen Hatmaker’s Haitian woman, that hope can be more like a vapor. Do we pray with desperation and act in ways that we hope will change their circumstances? We should.
But what if those circumstances don’t change?
The Gospel, the good news, says that we are all worse than we think but that because of the atoning work of Jesus we are more loved an accepted than we could ever dream. And, AND that there will be a day when every tear is wiped away and everything sad comes untrue. EVERYTHING. It’s says that on our darkest days, we are not forgotten, but loved and delighted in.
I think if we came in a little hot in this episode, it’s because the alternative, which is that I am blessed granite countertops and a minivan because I have more of God’s favor than those who don’t, is devastating. And it is exactly the opposite of the blessings and the favor we see in God’s word and in our own lives. #blessed isn’t the worst, it’s probably not intentional, and it’s super common. But could it be a gateway to a particularly destructive line of thinking?
So. There’s a little (okay sort of a fiery) intro – let me know what you think.