Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Own Your Blessings

The other day on Twitter, I was scrolling through my timeline and read a tweet from someone who opined that when people make statements such as “I’m blessed”, it comes off like such people think they are better than everyone else, which is offensive.  According to the Tweeter, a statement like “I’m fortunate” would be more appropriate than declaring how blessed you are.
I read it, thought to myself “na wa o” and jejely waka’ed on my merry way.
Later on in the day, I hopped back onto my timeline and of course, there was a whole discussion on blessings, being blessed, being lucky, being fortunate and all that shabang.

Well folks, here are my thoughts…

1. For one, nobody should have a say in how the next man feels about his life. As much as even I am guilty of rolling my eyes at people who constantly want to hammer my eardrums with declarations of “I’m so blessed”, “Blessed and highly favored” (mainly because I'm like oya na, let us hear word), I can’t take their blessedness away from them. If they feel that they have God's favor, then who am I to disagree? If they feel blessed, then Glorayyyy! I sure won’t be the one to pour sand in their garri or be mad that this person has declared his/her life’s blessings. I’ve also never felt that such people are better than me, so me thinks that if you are feeling some type of way because Jane your neighbor said she is blessed then na you sabi. In fact like someone put it during the discussion, "If you feel offended because someone said that he/she is blessed, then that one don pass their paygrade. Take your issue up with the God that blessed them". #KpomKwem

2. Situations are constantly changing. People don’t have it all together and wonderful 24/7/365 so if someone is currently enjoying what they deem to be the goodness of God in their lives and declare themselves blessed as a result, why should his neighbor who has been praying for the same thing be offended, or feel inferior? I encourage confidence even in spirituality. I also encourage the acceptance that not everyone was born on the same day, so comparisons do us no good.
Yes, you and someone might have been competing for the same job, he got hired and you didn’t. If he thinks he is blessed, you should also have the mentality that you are just as blessed. Maybe your own blessings might be in a much more prominent and higher paying position than the one that you got rejected for. Or maybe your own blessings will be in an entirely different path than what you anticipated. But regardless, be happy for the person and don’t feel “offended” because he has boldly declared his blessings…after all, there is probably something in life that you are be blessed with, and somebody else is praying for. That’s life for you.

3. Let’s address the plane crash/fatal accident example that I keep seeing in reference to blessings i.e. “Does surviving a fatal crash/accident mean that you’re more blessed than the others who didn’t make it?”…My answer is: I doubt it. I mean… look at the instances of all his servants who have died in such scenarios e.g. Dr. Myles Munroe, Pastor Bimbo Akintola etc. I’m sure that they were indeed very much blessed by God. But His ways are very mysterious.
As I recall, there have been conversations around the perceived insensitivity of people coming out to declare their blessings amidst such tragedies. But when you think about it? Can you blame them?
I think that if I just survived a fiery crash, my first and immediate reaction would be to thank God for blessing me with another chance to live. If this offends a family member of someone who hypothetically doesn't survive, that would not be my intention but would be out of my control. I would consider myself blessed to see another day, and because I believe in a higher power, I would attribute my survival to God's mercy and blessings and not “I sat at the back of the aircraft” or some other type of rationalization for why I survived. Does the fact that I would consider myself blessed in such a scenario, mean that I think I am better than someone who didn't survive? Not at all.
In a more recent example, a lot of people have been dealing with the aftermath of the Bristow Helicopters crash and the unfortunate death of what seemed to be a very promising and nice young man. I noticed that after the crash and the co-pilot’s passing, some people were tweeting things along the lines of “Thank God for blessing me with another day”. Should that offend anybody? I hope not. Like I said above, I believe that life and the opportunity to see a new day, are blessings. Every morning when I wake up, I say "thank you Lord for blessing me with the chance to see a new day", so its not today that I will start to censor my thanks in a bid to please anybody.

4. Last but not least, the power of positive confession and gratitude. This is something that sooooo many people talk about so it must mean something right? If your parents are the most awesome and always provide for you, shey you will always sing their praises and declare how blessed you are to have such parents. Such is the same for people who always hit us with the “I’m so blessed”. Again, I definitely roll my eyes at these people for not letting me hear word. But it is their reality, and if that is their way of expressing gratitude then alrighty then. Maybe that is why they seem to be so blessed sef. Baba God don see how they keep hailing them and continues to send more blessings their way. Who knows…

That concludes my musings for the day. I’m no bible thumper but c’mon we can’t entirely police ourselves in order to be politically correct and please everybody. If you feel blessed and want to let the world know, then please do so. The highest you will get is an eye roll here or there, but it’s cool…an eye roll never killed anybody.

And that is all she said.


Berry Dakara said...


taynement said...

I see both sides. I don't think it is wrong to see yourself as blessed or to disclaim blessings. I have talked about this before and I concluded that it is probably the context or the way it is being used or perhaps even the person it is coming from. In today's world, a lot of people use it in a humble brag way.

The word that makes me uncomfortable is "favored" favored means a preference. Which means God loves this person more? Which is against the principles that God loves us all equally as his children. or does this mean he wants some of his kids to suffer and the others to enjoy?

In terms of the plane crash. imagine 2 friends who had parents on the plane or maybe even 2 parents who were sick and one of the friends parents dies. Wouldnt it be insensitive if they were both in the same room and the one friend is going "man i am so blessed thats why God saved my parent" which brings me to why i think people find it a bit somehow especially with Nigerians when they make that statement it's kinda implied that you who didn't get that blessing weren't worthy enough at the time. I don't know, i think there's a time and place.

If it's just in general and you are genuinely just counting your blessings as habit in your relationship with God with no comparison to others I think its okay. Like i quoted in my blog post the tweet where one person said "things people struggle for, come to me so easy because i am so blessed and favored".

I am rambling, I don't know jare. I am on the fence with this one.

Ogechi Igbokwe said...

Taynement. I'm with you on this. There is a time and a place. But for the most part, when people say blessed, it is 'humble' brag. I can smell their arrogance from a mile away.

Fragilelooks said...

Sincerely, i have no problems with anyone declaring how blessed they are in whatever situation. i've always considered myself blessed even when situations are seemingly not ok. Becus i think it, i feel it, and i speak it. i'm blessed all of my days. i walk in God's un-ending Blessings. it may not look like it, but i know i am blessed.

Nutty J. said...

Being alive today is a blessing in itself
Being able to poop without aid is a blessing

So if my response to 'how are you' is for me to say 'I am blessed', is because over time I have come to realize that I am not just 'fine'... I am indeed 'blessed'

It is not a slight to anyone, and if anyone takes offense I will have to seriously probe that person.

That being said, its good to see you around Blogsville Mgbeke... hope you are fine (and blessed) and keeping well

Danceslave said...

Lol, my response 2 years later.

I see what you're selling, and I understand that it's fine and may be of use to me, but I'm not buying it. I'm not gonna call anyone out on the internet, but I'm still not buying what they selling. But that's my own opinion, set of values, perspective on the world and general feeling. I think Sugarbelly had a post on this topic and basically she expressed pretty much the same sentiments I have about this.

Cube Notes said...

I do not find any candid expression of thanks offensive. If you don't jump to the conclusion that they are boasting, you are left with a sincere gratitude and I think the world could use less cynicism and more gratitude. I would rather hear "I am so blessed" than be constantly bombarded by complaints of how life is unfair. We should ever never forget that affirmation without discipline often makes people delusional.

Musingsofjudgejudyjudy..... said...

Very well said, again, Mgbeke.
I can't even wrap my head around a person feeling "inferior" or as though a person is implied lying saying they are better than another because the confess their blessedness.
I never imagine or think say that kine thing fit be "thought" sef so I'd probably have thought " na wa o" to myself before moving on.