Friday, October 9, 2009

Well, Bless Her Heart

Well, Bless Her Heart
By Judy Vandiver

A phrase used often in the part of the U.S. where I live is “bless her heart” or “bless his heart.” It’s been said that you can get away with the worst insult possible, as long as you preface it with “bless her heart.” Imagine me commenting, “Bless her heart, she’s gained so much weight she looks like a cow,” without the benefit of the blessing. It’s even kinder of you, if you add the word well. Many times you can let your opinion be known by saying nothing more than, “Well, bless her heart.” (Note: pronunciation in this case draws the word well out very slowly and has more than one syllable.)

As I listened to one of my favorite preachers recently, he reminded us that we use the word bless and blessings rather liberally. The next time you sneeze in a crowded room, try counting the number of times someone says, “bless you.”

The focus of today’s Bible study contains a blessing for all mankind. Let’s continue with the scriptures from Genesis chapter one. Since the scripture reference is longer today,  I am only going to quote a small part of it. For the entire scripture for this study read Genesis 1:24-31.

 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
 So God created man in his own image,
       in the image of God he created him;
       male and female he created them.
 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. (Genesis 1:26-28a NIV)

Most of those reading this Bible study probably have a good idea that when the scripture says we were created in God’s image, that the intent is spiritual rather than physical.  I have written in the margin of Bible, “God made us heirs and partners” and “To understand who I am supposed to be, I need to understand God.”

As I studied this passage, I noticed that on days one through five, God called each thing He created into being. When He said ‘let it be,’ it was done. But on day six, God said, “Let us make.” With man, God got personally and physically involved in the creation. With man, He got His hands dirty. We are that special to Him.

When He was finished, He blessed us. Adam Clarke’s commentary says that this verse means God marked man as being under his special protection. And then He gave us a command. He told us to increase in number.

I think it’s important to remind ourselves here, how we were created. Without concentrating on how (i.e. in what fashion?), we miss what is to be multiplied. For humans, to bear fruit and increase in number means to bring others to Him and to reproduce God-like qualities.
When God finished, He looked at us and saw that what He had created was very good. It is a very good thing, being created in God’s image. He did not give that quality to the marine life, the birds, the plants, the seed-bearing fruit, the livestock. He gave that quality to man.

Sometimes I mess up and don’t live up to my potential of God-like qualities. I come back to Him and He continues to work with me, shape me, and bless me. I remind myself that I’m not in this world alone. God and I are partners. And quite honestly, I think there are times, God shakes his head, looks at me, and says, “Well, bless her heart.”

To Ponder On:

  1. How was the creation of man different than anything else God created?
  2. List qualities of God that are mentioned in Scriptures.
  3. Which of these qualities have I exemplified lately?
  4. What are some concrete ways I can bear fruit for God?
  5. Memorize: Psalm 103:1 “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.”

copyright 2009 Judy Vandiver

No comments:

Post a Comment