I recently read a blog that I did not completely agree with, but it really got me thinking. The subject of the blog was about how Christians today overuse the word blessed, and while I did agree with many of the author’s points, the article left me with a very unsettled feeling due to the fact that the writer stated point blank that this is a word that “Christians should remove from their vocabulary”. Now this might have just been a use of hyperbole in order to attract attention and get more readers, but I can’t swallow the statement that we should remove a word from our vocabulary that was used so often by our Savior. In fact, the 6 Greek words that I found in Strong’s Concordance as meaning blessed (some translated as happy, praised, bless, blessing) are used over 100 times in the New Testament alone!
YES, I do believe that our pop-culture of today has taken this word (or actually words) and twisted it into a meaning that often does not glorify God, and is sometimes even used as an excuse to brag (we’ve all seen the #blessed posts that are really more like a “look what I have/did” than  a “Praise God!”). However, the word blessed is NOT a bad word and in fact is very rich with meaning and something we should all use, albeit in the correct way and with understanding. I’ve been doing some digging into the original meaning and usage of the word to get a better understanding for myself and thought that perhaps the 4 or 5 people who actually read my blog might enjoy reading it as well.
Makarios (Strong’s 3107) – receiving God’s favor, fortunate, in a position of favor, happy (feelings associated with receiving God’s favor)
This word is an adjective found in 49 verses in the NT, including Matthew 5 (blessed are the poor, meek, etc.). It is also interpreted in some scriptures as happy, such as John 13:17 (if ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them). It seems to me that this word is the one that perhaps causes the most controversy. There are some verses that really seem to be synonymous with the “happy” part of the definition and “happy” could fit very well when reading the verses to explain the meaning of the text. There are, however, several places where it is clearly talking about receiving God’s favor. One thing to clarify is that “receiving God’s favor” is not like being granted wishes by a magical being. God does not reward his servants by making them rich or granting their every whim. We know that he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust (Matthew 5:45), and the Bible is full of examples of righteous people who have endured great suffering. God does show his favor to His people and blesses them with the presence of His Spirit (“draw near to God and he will draw near to you” James 4:8).
But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” Matthew 13:16-17
Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” Romans 4:7-8
Eulogeo (Strong’s 2127) – to praise, give thanks to, speak well of, extol; in some contexts to give a blessing is to act kindly and impart benefits to the one being blessed
This is a verb found in 41 verses in the NT, including Matt 5:44, “bless them that curse you”, also when he “blessed” and broke bread before eating Mark 6:41
But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Matthew 5:44
Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” Acts 3:26
Eulogetos (Strong’s 2128) – worthy of being praised
This word is an adjective, found only 8 times, and is only used in reference to God.
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel: for he hath visited and redeemed his people.” Luke 1:68
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you” I Peter 1:3-4
Eulogia (Strong’s 2129) – blessing, praise, thanksgiving, the extolling of another; in some contexts, excessive praise is improper, flattery; by extension, generosity and giving of gifts.
This is a noun found 16 times in the New Testament, and has quite a variety in its interpretation. In Romans 16:18, it is interpreted as “fair speeches” (“For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”), but in II Corinthians 9:5, the word is translated as “bounty” in KJV and “generous gift” in NKJV (“Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.”), with a completely different connation in reference to gathering a gift for their fellow Christians in need.
Eneulogeo  (Strong’s 1757) – to be blessed; to confer a benefit on
This verb is only found twice in the New Testament:
Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.” Acts 3: 25
And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all the nations be blessed.” Galatians 3: 8
Makarizo(Strong’s 3106) – pronounce (or esteem) fortunate:–call blessed, count happy
This verb is also only found twice in the New Testament:
For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.” Luke 1:48
Behold, we count them happy which endure.” James 5:11
After reading all of these definitions and looking up the corresponding scriptures, it is easy to see why “blessed” is such a misunderstood word! I hope that you were able to benefit and learn something in reading this, because I know it was a very beneficial study for me!