“God bless you!” A sentiment that is often given to another, whether a stranger or someone familiar after a sneeze or a reaction of gratitude for when someone does something for another.
If you are non-believer, are you offended by the inclusion of God when you hear, “God bless you?”
My day job involves working in a close cubicle environment. At times others in adjoining cubicles will sneeze due to seasonal allergies or colds in which I always offer, “God bless you!” Whenever that happens a co-worker in another adjoining cubicle will counter, “BLESS you,” as if it to say, “leave God out of it (and/or the workplace).”
In my opinion, to leave God out of it is means I have the power to relieve the afflicted person’s illness or malady. To leave God out of it means to me that God can only be a part of my life in certain circumstances. To leave God out of it means He doesn’t not belong in my life fully. To leave God out of it means I do not love my neighbor as I love myself.
By leaving God in it, also does not mean to nitpick.
I don’t say, “God bless you” or “I will pray for you” to proselytize as means to convert non-believers, or simply just to antagonize atheists. I don’t have that kind of power nor does antagonizing someone’s beliefs or non-belief system encourages anything but dissension, which is not how God encourages me to act toward others.
I won’t apologize for leaving God “in it” nor will I stop if asked, demanded or insinuated.
Many years ago, I wore a cross on my suit jacket and my manager at the time asked me why I wore a cross on my suit jacket. My answer was more, sorry to say an indignant question, “Would you have asked me that question if I wore a cross necklace?” Perhaps he was trying to ask me about my Christian faith, I don’t know but I found his abrupt question more of an indication to stop wearing it.
Even believers can misunderstand Godly intentions.
Not long after I would also wear one dangling cross earring in my left ear along with a pair of fashion earrings. In a Bible study at my church, my pastor made a remark about how we are to “wear” the cross of Christ. In which I replied calmly, “Would you have had asked me about the cross if I simply wore the cross on a chain around my neck?”
Holiday and Christmas greetings are a yearly conundrum.
Gratefully, I have friends of many different faiths and outlooks on life, as well as, many who share my faith in Christ. When seasonal religious holidays occur throughout the year, many people become aggravated with how to greet one another. I respect those who live their faith and when they greet me with their respective celebratory greeting, I am not the least offended. I respond with “God’s Blessings!” or “Merry Christmas!”
I believe in living an authentic life.
When I am at work performing my job duties, interacting with others in any environment including social media, I don’t want others to be left with the impression of me as “you’ll just have to deal with it, I’m a Christian” – but someone who is sincerely and genuinely trying to live my faith and be of service to others.
Yes, I am a Christian. No, I can’t leave God out of it. I am grateful for those who accept me as I am. God did.
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God bless you!
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