Have you ever heard someone tell you to “be true to yourself?’ Or “follow your dreams?” Or “follow your heart?” Where have you heard this?
Do you remember why God made us? We were made to image God – to look like him and his love. We do this by trusting him, and by receiving love from him. In the Bible this love is called “blessing.” A blessing comes when someone tells us that they love us no matter what, that they will help us become the kind and loving person that we are meant to be. But here’s what you need to know as you are growing up – you can’t bless yourself. Why not? Because as soon as you try to bless yourself, you just become more focused on yourself. When others tell you to “follow your heart” they are asking you to be your own blesser. They are asking you to tell yourself how great you are. Then you have to try to be great. But the problem is that without Jesus we are not that great, in fact, we are sinners.
Jacob (do you remember Jacob?) knew this too. He had spent most of his life trying to be great but failing. He had spent most of his life running away from his family and from God. When Jacob “followed his heart” it only took him further away from loving God and loving others. Then one night when Jacob was all alone and afraid, Jesus came to him and wrestled with Jacob all night long. Jacob held tight to Jesus and refused to let go. Listen to how the Bible describes it:
Genesis 32:24-26. 24 And Jacob was left alone. And a man [Jesus] wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 26 Then [the man]said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
Jacob knew that he could not bless himself. You and I need to learn that lesson too. We need Jesus bless us with his love and forgiveness and only then will we know how to be our “true self.” The loving and kind self that God wants us to be. The not selfish self.
Because of Jesus we are blessed by God with his love and grace.
With Jesus we can follow God’s heart of kindness.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Watch The Lion King together. When Simba follows his heart (Hakuna Matata) it is bad. But when Rafiki confronts him and “blesses” him, Simba becomes the servant king.
Jesus, thank you for blessing me with your love. Help me to share your heart and bravely be kind to everyone. Amen.