The month of November is a time where each of us considers God’s blessings on our lives. We think about those things for which we are thankful and we will often communicate those blessings to one another.
Did you catch that? We tell each other how that God has blessed us, but do we bless others with the blessings we have received?
According to the GlobalRichList.com, I am richer than 99% of all the people in the world. In fact, if you make $14,400 annually (that is $7.50/hour, the Arkansas minimum wage), you are richer than 92% of the world’s population. Are we blessed? You bet we are!
But being blessed is measured by so much more than income or wealth! The Scripture tells us, “Blessed are the poor in spirit… blessed are those who mourn… blessed are the meek… blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness… blessed are the merciful… blessed are the pure in heart… blessed are the peacemakers… [and] blessed are the persecuted…” (Matthew 5). Our greatest blessing comes as a result of our relationship with Christ! But are we passing this blessing on to others?
Sometimes we struggle to know how to be a blessing to others. What should we do? What should we say?
The Bible has much to say about making an impact on those people who are in your circle of influence, or OIKOS. Now I know that most of us think of yogurt whenever we hear the OIKOS, but Dannon was not the first ones to utilize this Greek term. You might wonder why they would choose the name OIKOS. According to their website: “Oikos is the Greek word for house. It’s also the root word for ecology. We think it’s a great name for our Greek yogurt because it reminds us of a time when people’s homes were intimately connected with nature and most foods came from household gardens and family herds.” (OIKOSyogurt.com)
The word OIKOS does refer to “a inhabited house; any building or dwelling place; all the persons of a household” (from BlueLetterBible.com). But in a more metaphorical sense, the OIKOS refers to the family, including all the relatives (whether related by blood or not). This is talking about the important people in your life–the ‘uncle’ that’s not really an uncle or friend that’s closer than a brother. The people you spend your life with are your OIKOS, your community, or your circle of influence. Just like the folks at Dannon, we believe that OIKOS should stir up within us the idea of being intimately connected to one another.
So who is your OIKOS? Who are the people in your life with whom you have a connection? Take a moment to look at this diagram. What is the name of a person in each of these categories that needs to hear the truth of the gospel? Will you BLESS them with the blessing you received from God?
On Sunday mornings this month, we will be thinking about how to answer the question, “How can I bless my family, my friends, my co-workers and my neighbors?” So whether referring to Andrew introducing his brother Peter to Jesus or Lydia influencing her whole household to follow Paul’s teaching about Jesus, the Bible is clear that we have a responsibility to bless others in the way we have been blessed. Let’s do all we can to move our circle of influence one step closer to the gospel!
So how do we do this? BLESS them!
B – Begin in prayer
L – Listen to them
E – Eat with them
S – Serve them
S – Share the gospel
Next week, we’ll look more at what it means to BLESS our OIKOS, or circle of influence. In the meantime, like or share this post with someone else who needs the encouragement to remember that we are blessed to be a blessing!