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Bringing Out the Best in Those We Bless

Bringing Out the Best in Those We Bless

Editor’s note: We want to bless the ones we love….  but sometimes we lack the knowledge or skills. After more that a million copies sold, the John Trent and Gary Smalley’s classic The Blessing is newly revised and is a great tool for everyone to learn the gift of blessing others.


Picturing a special future for a child, spouse, or friend can help bring out the best in their life. It gives that person a positive direction to strive toward and surrounds them with hope. We can see this very thing in our relationship with the Lord. Listen to the beautiful way the prophet Jeremiah assures us of the special future we have in our relationship with God:

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. — Jeremiah 29:11

Jesus also went to great lengths to assure His insecure disciples that they had a special future with Him. During their last Passover meal together, Jesus made sure they knew their future together would not end at His death.

In My Father’s house are many mansions, He told them, if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. — John 14:2–3

Time and time again in the Bible, God gives us a picture of our special future with Him. However, His written Word is not the only way God communicates this message to us. Scattered throughout nature are a number of physical pictures of spiritual truths, pictures that illustrate the importance of providing a special future for the ones we love.

Anyone who has ever watched a caterpillar emerge from its cocoon as a butterfly has seen such a picture. The caterpillar is probably not on anyone’s list of the world’s “ten most beautiful creatures.” Yet a caterpillar has the potential to be transformed into a list-topping, beautiful butterfly. What does this have to do with the Blessing?

  • Words that picture a special future for a child, spouse, or friend can act as agents of this kind of transformation in that individual’s life.

Words really do have that kind of transforming power. The apostle Paul certainly thought so. The actual term for the transformation of a caterpillar to a butterfly is metamorphosis, based on a Greek word. Paul used this same Greek word in the book of Romans. He was aware that the world had tremendous power to squeeze and mold the saints in Rome into a godless image. To counter this, he told these young believers,

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.Romans 12:2

What does it mean to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind”? One excellent New Testament commentator explains the concept this way: “Since men are transformed by the action of the mind, transformed by what they think, how important to have the organ of thought renewed!”1 In other words, godly thoughts and thinking patterns have the ability to transform us into godly men or women rather than leaving us to be squeezed into the imperfect mold of the world. Let’s see how this works with regard to the Blessing.

Children are filled with the potential to be all God intended them to be. It is as if the Lord places them on our doorstep one day, and we as parents are left as stewards of their abilities. During the years we have children in our homes, the words we speak to them can wrap around them like a cocoon. What we say can shape and develop them in a positive way.

Let’s look at another important picture in nature that mirrors what happens when we bless our children with words of a special future. This picture, explained to me by my twin brother, Jeff, a doctor in the field of cancer research, is found in something that happens in every cell in our bodies.2

Imagine a typical cell in your body by thinking of a circle. Attached to the outside of this circle are a number of receptor points. You could picture these receptor points as little squares that almost look like gears on a wheel. To make things easier to under- stand, picture these receptor sites as little square people.

Floating around near the cell are hormones and enzymes.

Think of them as Harry Hormone and Ethyl Enzyme, who would each love to shake hands with (or activate) these little receptor people. And while a great number of these hormones and enzymes have the ability to connect with a receptor site, some have a special ability to stimulate a cell’s activity and cause it to work harder.

You can picture this special ability as someone coming up to you and shaking your hand up and down so vigorously that your whole body shakes and you feel energized. In fact, your neighbors start shaking and feel energized too. Such stimulation by hormones and enzymes, which causes the receptor sites to work harder, is called positive cooperativity.

But other hormones and enzymes act in a negative way when they shake hands with a receptor site. This is negative cooperativity. Have you ever had your hand squeezed so hard that you almost crumpled over in pain? That’s the kind of thing that happens when these hormones and enzymes grab hold of a receptor site. In fact, not only does this one receptor site shut down and stop working because its “hand” is being squeezed, but all the receptor sites around it stop too.

And this applies to the Blessing... how?

Words that picture a special future for a child act like positive hormones that attach themselves to a cell. They stimulate all kinds of positive feelings and decisions within a child that can help them grow and develop. Words of a special future can inspire a child to work on a particular talent, have the confidence to try out for a school office, or even share their faith with other children.

But just like the negative hormones that shut down cell activity, a critical, negative picture of the future can crush or pinch off healthy growth in a child. Emotional, physical, and even spiritual growth in a child can be stunted because of the stifling effect of a negative picture of the future.

  1. Jay Stifler, The Epistle to the Romans (Chicago: Moody Press, 1983), 119.
  2. We would like to extend our special thanks to Dr. Jeffrey M. Trent, associate professor of medicine, University of Arizona, for putting this example into “everyday English” for us.

Excerpted with permission from The Power of the Blessing by John Trent, Gary Smalley, and Kari Trent Stageberg, copyright John Trent and Kari Trent Stageberg.

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Your Turn 

Words have transformative power! How are we going to use our words today? We have the opportunity to do little to help and encourage or to bless and exhort. Come share your thoughts with us. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily