In this day of social media, so many have begun to attract friends, fans and followers to promote themselves and their messages. In a more traditional way, telling people that you’re “blessed and highly favored” is about self promotion. We want people to look at us or to ask us questions to understand why we’ve used that phrase. But the term is almost exclusive and makes me wonder if we should use it at all.
In Scripture, Mary, the mother of Jesus, is the only person who is called this because of the special grace shown to her to give birth to the Savior. And the only group of people who is called this is referring to Christians (Ephesians 1:6). So I believe to say this word about yourself because of how well things are going in your life is misplaced because the type of grace given to Mary to do what she did won’t happen to anyone else. I also think this phrase is empty because it applies to all Christians, conveying our position in Christ and not how we are doing (i.e., how we feel).
Whether or not we use the term “blessed and highly favored,” I still want us to consider the conditions surrounding Mary’s blessing that I believe we need to ponder when we receive “blessings.”
• God selected Mary (Luke 1:30).
• God chose the type of blessing she would receive (giving birth to Jesus, the Savior of mankind; Luke 1:31-32).
• God chose the method to administer the blessing (through the Holy Ghost; Luke 1:35).
• God decided when Mary should broadcast the blessing (after three months; Luke 1:56).
• God told her what her blessing was for (Luke 1:32-33).
• God did the work (Luke 1:37).
If we believe that God has selected us to receive a blessing, I think we ought to be clear that God indeed did select the type of blessing; that we allow Him to give it to us the way He wants to give it to us; that we should allow Him to tell us when and with whom to share it; that we make sure we handle the blessing the way God intends; and that we allow Him to bring our blessing to pass without interfering.
Many times we claim something we believe will make us “blessed and highly favored” that God has not chosen us to receive. But once we recognize the blessing that will come from Him, let’s not dictate to God how we want to receive the blessing (i.e., specifying the “perfect” time for it or how it—or he—should look) let alone start to pursue the blessing when He didn’t tell us to. Once we get the blessing, let’s make sure we share it with those that He tells us to, particularly those who can rejoice with us (Romans 12:15). And, finally, we need to make sure we handle the blessing the way He wants us to. Just because He gives us money doesn’t give us license to spend it how we want. We must seek God and not simply rest on being “blessed and highly favored.”
Remember, the material gain and positions you have or see others with may not be blessings from God but enticements from Satan to do his bidding (Luke 4:1-12). Everybody claiming to be “blessed and highly favored” is not “blessed and highly favored.” Just because fruit is born doesn’t mean that the fruit has come from the right tree (Matthew 7:17, 12:33). “Blessed and highly favored” was the mantle given to Mary because of her humility, and humility always brings exaltation (1 Peter 5:6).
Copyright 2010 by Rhonda J. Smith