It seems to be a natural reaction to bad things and disasters whether personal or national to seek to assign blame.

A disaster is seen as punishment for some wrong – this leads to people saying some really stupid things such as blaming a storm on some minority group.

 

It also is known as scapegoating. Find someone to scapegoat, punish them and all will be well again. (This is an aspect of the Easter story – which serves to point out the futility of scapegoating when the ultimate scapegoat rose from the dead).

That’s not what I want to discuss.

If disasters, illness or financial problems are seen as some kind of punishment, then it so easy to blame those who are affected. They must have done something wrong.

This works as long as it’s someone else who has the problem.

The other side of this is that there are those who equate success in life with being blessed by God.

If my business is doing well, I get my preferred college place, my health is good or I get healed and my prayers get answered, then I must be right with God and he is therefore blessing me (rewarding me).

This has been preached and taught for years by some, usually those who make money from the desperate and vulnerable by offering promises of reward provided you “sow into their ministry”.

Fortunately, most see this for what it is, especially as its kind of obvious that stuff both good and bad happens to everyone without any apparent reason.

Unfortunately, some of this talk of blessing or chastising by God gets into our mindsets, as it conveniently seems to explain what can never be explained or understood.

This leads back to my title. If success and wealth are signs of blessing, then it follows that being poor means that you are un-blessed.

Jesus famously said Blessed are the poor…