“An ex nihilo blessing is a surprise blessing or spontaneous blessing. It’s a blessing that comes out of nowhere, a blessing that seems to materialize out of thin air.”- Mark Batterson
“When you enter the home, give it your blessing. If it turns out to be a worthy home, let your blessing stand; if it is not, take back the blessing.”- Matthew 10:12-13 (NLT)
Mark Batterson concludes Chapter 13 of Double Blessing as he talks about the default settings we download during the course of our lives. These default settings include introverted and extroverted personalities as well as more subtle subconscious motivations.
However, when we look at the operating instructions Jesus gave His disciples, they seem like the wrong default settings. For example, consider Jesus’ approach when meeting someone for the first time. From our human point of view, we prefer to do a quick moral calculation before we offer a blessing. Why? Because we want to know if someone’s truly worthy of a blessing before we give it. But, Jesus told His disciples just the opposite. He told them to lead with blessing! And even if the blessing backfires, Pastor Batterson advises, shake the dust off your feet and pick up the pieces. Then continue to lead with blessing.
Certainly, Mark cautions, you must exercise a measure of discernment when you dispense a blessing. The author counsels:
” . . . don’t entrust what is valuable to those who will waste it. To put it in economic terms, don’t throw good money after a bad investment. The sunk cost fallacy is as applicable to our spiritual lives as it is to our financial lives. For clarity, no one is a lost cause! But until that person is ready to receive your blessing, it might return-to-sender. That’s okay. Give your blessing anyway!”
Therefore, as Christ followers our preset = lead with blessing. And sometimes that’s an ex nihilo blessing – spontaneous! For generosity flows from the inside out, with the conviction of the Holy Spirit serving as the catalyst.
Today’s question: Have you ever given or received an ex nihilo blessing? Please share.
Coming Monday: the February Short Meditation — “Start lighting candles – quit cursing the darkness”
Tomorrow’s blog: “Safety net – holding on out of fear”