“I never, in my life, felt more certain that I was doing right, than I do in signing this paper (The Emancipation Proclamation). My whole soul is in it.”- Abraham Lincoln
John Ortberg begins Chapter 13 (“The Soul Needs Blessing”) of Soul Keeping by noting that the soul makes itself known when it reaches out in love. The word the Bible uses for this is blessing.
Dallas Willard once told John that the Bible uses two great words to describe the posture of the soul to other people- one is to bless, the other is to curse. Pastor Ortberg explains:
“We are creatures with wills, and in every encounter with people we will what is good for them, or we fail to do so: we will what is bad. We cannot help ourselves.”
Blessing, John emphasizes, is not just a word. Blessings signifies the projection of good into the life of another person. We must think, feel, and will it- we must be all in.
The soul bestows blessing. In Genesis 27 Isaac told Esau to prepare a meal for him to eat, so “that my soul may bless you before I die.” Because the blessing comes from Isaac’s soul, not simply Isaac, it carries such weight that it cannot be revoked once it is given.
Next Pastor Ortberg discusses how we truly can extend blessing to others.
Today’s question: What people have been a true blessing to you following your ministry downsizing or vocation loss? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Souls were made to be blessed”