Recently I had someone ask me about the scriptures of cursing and blessing people and how to handle it. It was an excellent question and one that lead me down a large focus of proving what I believe to be accurate. I gathered information from all over and in doing so let me first acknowledge that this post has many references from other incredible sources and people. I am not the original author on most of this but have compiled it for my benefit and now yours. I have used quotations and tried to have links to all sources.
Q: When your children do not do what you think “correct” or biblically accurate do you withhold a blessing?
In looking at this I originally thought, yes! It is called discipline, correction, and consequences. You do not reward bad behavior! However, as I researched Hebrew blessings there is very little about holding back on blessings and in fact, most is about how to give it out more. Parents give out blessings every single week over their children when sitting around the table for Shabbat. Also, these blessings are not withheld based on the actions of the child and and most blessings have no merit on behavior/correction. I also came across an article from the original Hebrew blessings given at a wedding. I started here because this is one of the biggest areas of blessing seen in cultures all around the world. Whether you are in China, America, Africa or the middle east a marriage blessing is fascinatingly a universal thing despite where you live or what you believe.
Seven different blessings are bestowed upon the couple when they are standing under the chuppah. They may be given by the officiant, the rabbi or the cantor, or friends and family members. Many couples recite English translations or alternative blessings in addition to the Hebrew text.
So what does the scripture say about withholding blessings or even cursing people? Withholding of the “blessing” was definitely seen in the Bible times but was mainstreamed by the Catholic Church much much later as a power play of covert-aggression to force people to “The Faith” under the catholic church.
The word Convalidation comes from the Latin word meaning “to firm up” or “to strengthen.” A Convalidation ceremony is a religious ceremony for a Catholic couple to be legally wed under Canon law. This ceremony makes the civil wedding official because, in the Catholic tradition, marriages performed outside of the Catholic Church aren’t even recognized.
Remember Jesus’ first miracle was to bless the couple with the celebration of wine. (In Jewish culture that was the start of the blessing ceremony) We know nothing of if that couple chose Jesus or not after this miracle but Jesus continued their blessing ceremony by continuing the wine celebration. Without the wine, the blessings couldn’t continue.
I think of poor Esau — that biblical character who was cheated out of his birthright by his clever brother, Jacob. This blessing from his father was rightly Esau’s. One of the saddest questions I know is the plaintive words of Esau, “Father, don’t you have another blessing for me?” He never received that blessing, Such withheld blessings are one of life’s great tragedies.
Family therapists call such tragedies of withheld blessings as a “destructive entitlement.” Not receiving what was rightly ours, that empty space can become destructive to our future personalities. Blessings withheld can be a great burden.
Because this post is so incredible and written better than I could have said it myself I am including it in its entirety here:
All “_____” is not me but a post by the women over at LGG. I agree with it 100 percent and I hope you are encouraged by it!
by WhitneyD | Feb 16, 2017 |
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.” – Proverbs 3:27
Some of the hardest teachings in the Bible for me are those that abruptly confront my selfish flesh. Love your enemies. Count it as joy when you encounter trials. Forgive those who sin against you 77 x 7 times. God really knows how to meet me in that divine space between what He calls me to do and what I actually do. This is one of those teachings: do not withhold good when it is in your power to act.
For believers, there will always be the temptation to withhold good. Although our passage today speaks of the withholding of debts owed, there are many other good gifts that God expects us to give. Believers are called to surrender our lives to God. We reflect Jesus when we are generous with our money, with our time, with our spiritual gifts, with our forgiveness, and with our love, grace, mercy and blessings.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights…” – James 1:17
Believers are the hands and feet of God. Until Jesus returns for His people, we are the vessels through which God supplies these good gifts. God calls us to die to self – to give up our dreams, our desires, and our plans for His.
“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need,
yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?
Little children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”
Why is it so difficult to give sacrificially? Giving involves risk, so we often find ourselves seeking guaranteed return on our investment. What if the person hasn’t earned it? What if they don’t deserve it? What if they are ungrateful? What if they don’t pay me back? How will the loss affect me? There is always an inherent risk in giving, but we have to trust God with our investment. When we give sacrificially, we surrender our rights to those answers.
Giving God’s good and perfect gifts means we deny ourselves and give people the love, goodness, and mercy of Jesus.
Giving Jesus means we deny ourselves the right to judge who is worthy of our love and generosity.
Giving Jesus means we deny ourselves the right to reject and ignore those who offend us.
Giving Jesus means we deny ourselves the right to demand the last word or to retaliate with anger.
Giving Jesus means we deny ourselves the right to refuse our forgiveness.
Giving Jesus means we deny ourselves the right to withhold good.
When we withhold good from people, we withhold God from them.
Giving people the goodness of Jesus can feel uncomfortable, inconvenient, and sometimes painful. However, believers must always look to the example of Jesus who continued to pour out His love, mercy, and forgiveness to the undeserving even to the very end. God calls us to put Him first by loving people without expectations.
When we put God first – when we put God’s people first – He promises to bless our lives and supply abundance beyond our comprehension. Our goodness towards others will not go unnoticed. We cannot out-give God!
“The state has no right to force you to be generous...what the Bible says to you is, “You shall not withhold.” We sin against each other not only by the bad things we do but also by the beautiful things we withhold. Withheld love is a life-depleting sin. It is a sin to tell ourselves, “I’m not doing anybody any harm.” The question is, what good are you withholding? Jesus withheld no good thing from you. Okay, now we know how to build a culture of life, by his power. A culture of life is where people love each other openly and eagerly with the love of Jesus. All around us are opportunities to breathe life into more people. We cannot do everything. But we can do something, for his sake.”
Another question to address: Is the blessing’s of God for believer’s only? Are my blessings only for those who believe the same as I do? My answer to that is:
“Are we not all children of the same Father? Are we not all created by the same God?”
We speak blessings over both our children. One of our children has received Christ – another has expressed questions and not done so yet. Do I withhold my blessing from one because the individual hasn’t chosen Christ? Would I give up on my child once an adult? Does God give up on us? Does he not bless the non-believer and the believer as well? Does he not love us all the same? We have different consequences to our actions but not a Withholding of God’s grace.
Christian Psychologists say that withholding is one of the most toxic emotional abuses of all.
Focus on the Family says “The father wound is the absence of this love from your birth father. The wound can be caused by:
- Withholding – Love, blessings and/or affirmation, deficiencies that lead to a profound lack of self-acceptance. As long as we accept these words as truth, we will seek to perform and prove our worth through perfectionism and materialism, or seek addictions to cover up the pain.
Pronouncing a blessing or benediction upon others is a powerful way to plead for God’s grace upon them and give them a vision for what we hope they will become.
“The apostle Paul addresses some key components to love: “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.”
“What I like about Philippians 1:9–10 is that the love here is associated with knowledge and discernment. So, the inverse is also true. A lack of wisdom and discernment is actually unloving. Sometimes we only associate love as a feeling. But we have to remember that biblical love is an intentional action where we want what’s best for us and the other person.” – from book by Lysa TerKeurst
“Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.”
“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Luke 6:45
If Jesus can bless those who cursed him and NEVER deny Peter though Peter denied him three times – than I should do the same. I hope this encourages you to lavish others with blessings and to see the beauty it creates in relationships.
May the Lord bless you and keep you! May His face shine upon you and give you grace.
- What expectations are you placing on those whom you are called to bless?
- What goodness are you withholding because the cost is too great?
- In what circumstance do you need God’s help to loosen your grip on self-preservation?
- How can you pray as you begin “giving Jesus” to all you encounter?