When Jesus talked about blessings, he wasn't talking about new jobs and flashy cars.
What does it mean, then, when social media users take to Twitter to show off their privileged lifestyles and caption it all with the hashtag #blessed as though to convey a sense of humility?
"Theologically people have really objected to this," HuffPost Religion editor Paul Raushenbush told Vocabulary.com's Ben Zimmer and host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani in a recent HuffPost Live segment. "It's saying, 'Every time I get something good it means that God has blessed me.' And there are some Christians who have reacted, saying, 'Are we really using blessed the right way?'"
HuffPost blogger Scott Dannemiller addressed this topic head on in an article entitled 'The One Thing Christians Should Stop Saying.' On using the term 'blessed' to describe material fortune, Dannemiller writes:
It has to stop. And here's why.
First, when I say that my material fortune is the result of God's blessing, it reduces The Almighty to some sort of sky-bound, wish-granting fairy who spends his days randomly bestowing cars and cash upon his followers. I can't help but draw parallels to how I handed out M&M's to my own kids when they followed my directions and chose to poop in the toilet rather than in their pants. Sure, God wants us to continually seek His will, and it's for our own good. But positive reinforcement?
God is not a behavioral psychologist.
Second, and more importantly, calling myself blessed because of material good fortune is just plain wrong. For starters, it can be offensive to the hundreds of millions of Christians in the world who live on less than $10 per day. You read that right. Hundreds of millions who receive a single-digit dollar "blessing" per day.
#Blessed all too often reflects a fake humility or humble brag, Zimmer says, that doesn't actually spark a discussion as hashtags are intended to. But are people over it?
Check out the HuffPost Live segment above.