Last week I wrote about the need for cultural transformation. This week I want to focus on one aspect of how.
11 By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted, But it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked. Proverbs 11:11 (NKJV)
The verse above focuses on cities; however, I believe it can also be applied to families, a small group, provinces and nations. After all, the verse is about how a the behaviour of individuals within a group of people causes the group to prosper or break down.
To have a better grasp of the concept it is important to look at the meaning of blessing. It refers to the idea of good or prosperity. Not prosperity in the sense of necessarily being rich in material things but prospering in what is right. Think of Matthew 6:33 where Jesus tells us that if we seek first God’s kingdom then all the other things we need will be added. This verse could be viewed as a commentary on Proverbs 11:11.
Given that, there are a couple of ways to look at the concept of blessing by the upright. One is the blessing they convey through their words; the other is the blessing they bring by their presence. Think of a time when you felt better simply being around someone. You had a sense that things were going to be okay. That is the blessing that a true shepherd brings to a congregation. The congregation is settled and at ease when a true shepherd is present, leading and functioning in their calling.
The same is true of words. Think of John 6:67-68. Jesus shared some hard truths and many of the crowd left. Jesus then asked the disciples if they wanted to leave as well. Look at Peter’s response.
68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” John 6:68 (NKJV)
Peter recognized the blessing in Jesus words, they carried life!
Whether we consider our words or our behaviour, there is a ripple effect. Like a stone cast into a pond that sends out ever expanding ripples, our words and actions send out an expanding influence. Of course, the problem comes in when we are not a blessing but a detriment. I believe this extends not only to our public words and deeds, it also includes our private words and deeds. The spiritual realm is not like the visible realm, it has a window into our lives and we have an effect there that while unseen by many has a visible effect over time. In conclusion, if we want to see our culture transformed, we need to be what we want to see in our public and private lives and encourage the same in others. In this way all of the ripples have a reinforcing impact. All that we do is a point of demarcation between two kingdoms. Let’s focus on building His.