Do You Feel Guilty About Blessings?

In our absurdly wealthy, soothingly safe country, I’ve found that there are a lot of Christians who aren’t quite comfortable with their blessings. Because not only are we prosperous with possessions, we are also prosperous with media, making us all keenly aware that most of the world is rather a bit more rustic than America. And by “rustic” I mean, “Likely to die of diarrhea before age five.”

Christians in this country hear stories of the brutality and deprivation that are rampant in the rest of the world, and they feel guilty for having so much. Even those who are considered middle-class or lower-middle-class live like kings compared to someone from rural China.

So should we feel guilty? If you do, I don’t really have an answer for you. Everyone’s situation is different, and sometimes God uses things like guilt to motivate people to do great things. As this post from Christian Mom Thoughts says, “If you feel guilty for your blessings…maybe you aren’t doing enough with them.”

But my own question is this, and maybe some Bible scholars out there know better than I do: Where in the Bible do we find an example of someone who, after being greatly blessed by God, responded by saying, “Gee, Lord, I just don’t know how to feel about all these blessings. Maybe You should rethink how Your blessings are distributed.”

I do, however, remember lots of examples of people on the receiving end of God’s largesse exhibiting great, extravagant thankfulness. So, when people say that they feel guilty about the good things in their lives, the first thing I think is, “Why have you skipped over thankfulness to get to guilt?”

By all means, we should be wary of selfishness and complacency, and always look for ways to use your blessings for the benefit of others. But we shouldn’t mistake an overdeveloped sense of unworthiness for holiness. Let’s be thankful first.

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