The Blessing: Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance

by John Trent, Gary Smalley. Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2011.

The Jewish philosopher and rabbi, Abraham Heschel, wrote, “Just to be is a blessing.” Holding a sense of gratitude contributes to well-being. This is true for individuals. What if it is also true for communities? How can a community model unconditional love and acceptance for and with others? Trent and Smalley, both evangelical Christians, have written a volume that offers both a theology of blessing and a practical guide. They provide a simple, verbal form on how to affirm another person. They note that such validation sticks with a person if it is true, connected to behavior, and includes an evocative word picture or metaphor. Blessing is a strong form of human speech that can build a culture of validation in your congregation. This book would be useful to leaders in pastoral care, faith formation - including faith formation at home - and those who work with children and youth.