“A curse is the projection of evil on someone. It’s using language or attitudes that project evil into their lives.”- Dallas Willard, Living in Christ’s Presence: Final Words on Heaven and the Kingdom of God (2014)
In Chapter 5 (“Inspiration for Blessing”) of Given, Tina Boesch contrasts blessing and cursing. First, she observes that, in the ancient world, blessing and cursing fall in the realm of magic. Furthermore, people of that time believed the gods imbued many with the special power to bless and curse.
Thus, we meet one of these men, Balaam, in Numbers 22-24. A Mesopotamian prophet, one could buy blessings or curses from Balaam for a price. Although Barak, King of Moab, hired Balaam to curse Israel, Balaam’s donkey ‘talked’ him out of it.
While few people ponder the idea of hiring a professional to curse their enemies, we find temptation to curse in other ways. For example, we might not speak words of evil out loud. However, Tina points out, it’s easy for our thoughts to devolve into a “silent vehicle for cursing.”
As a result, whether our curse is verbal or nonverbal, devastation occurs. The author explains:
“Curses shoot out of our mouths like poisoned darts — they’re words meant to inflict pain. They sting the moment they hit their mark, and the resulting wound festers in the future as the words work their way under the skin of the heart.”
Finally, Tina describes why blessing and cursing exist as polar opposites.
- flows out of a generous spirit that desires good for another
- builds up
- invites others to draw near
- invokes peace
- frees another to new possibilities
- inspired by evil intent
- tears down
- pushes others away
- inflicts division
- seeks to shackle the future
Today’s question: Do you find yourself more prone to blessing or cursing? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Lament – pour out your heart”