Many people, including myself, say God bless in a way of appreciation, congratulatory, or when we part ways with others and there is nothing wrong with using this phrase but recently, I got a dose of what society has come to. An individual that I had been speaking with about books, life and yes, religion informed me that saying God bless to him was like, well, a popular phrase that begins with the letter F and ends with the same you.
While this did not surprise me as there are a lot of people who have moved away from Christ and His teachings but this is something that I had never heard before and hope I never hear again. The phrase “God bless you” can be used by anyone and in any situation and there is no offense involved as no particular God is referred to. There have been different times in my life when I had Muslim customers and when we reached an agreement, I simply said God bless and they responded the same.
As I mentioned, this did not surprise me and should not surprise anyone else because it has been this way since the fall of man. Yes, society has been this way from the very beginning and we have Adam and Eve to thank for this. When they disobeyed God, humanity was doomed and subjected to disease and illness, pain and hurt, and on and on including being born into a sin nature. The great thing for those below is that the nature of God includes mercy and forgiveness and we know this God’s word but also, from the life Christ live and His crucifixion.
While God bless you can mean any particular God, it’s important that we remember that God is simply a position and He does have a name: Jesus Christ. However, while Christ is all loving and forgiving, He does warn those who are ashamed of His name.by declaring ” Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38) and the same is true in Matthew 10:33, “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”
The point of this piece is not to show that there are some who do not like God bless you nor is it to raise awareness that God bless you can be used by anyone and it can refer to any God but rather, to point out there is but one God and His name is Jesus Christ but more importantly, to show that we cannot be afraid of what others may think of us for believing in His name. The name Jesus Christ ushers in a lot of hostility in today’s society the same way it did back when Christ walked this Earth and if we someone is offended by Christ let them be. If it costs you friends and other relationships, let them go their way because there is no other name before Him on Earth and in Heaven (Acts 4:12).
While it may be appropriate and polite to say God bless you because it has no reference to any particular God and it’s good to use in many situations, we can never forget who God is. Christ tells us that we will be persecuted because of His name (John 5:21) and if we are, we are blessed (Matthew 5:10). Mark 8:36-37 asks an important question that we must ask ourselves when we find ourselves in such circumstances and situations: “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” While most of us do not want to intentionally offend anyone, we must be serious and sincere in our relationship with Christ that we are willing to risk our names, our reputations, and anything else for His sake but if we are unwilling to do so, Christ will do the same to us when our lives are up and it’s time to give an account for what we did or did not do.
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”–Mark 8:36-37