“If anyone loudly blesses their neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse.”
Explanation and Commentary of Proverbs 27:14
This humorous proverb should be self-evident if taken literally. But taken figuratively, it refers to the attempt to do a good thing, but without consideration for the actual effect of the action. It isn’t really a blessing if it does not bless the person it was intended to bless, and especially if the motive for the “blessing” was more selfish than generous.
If we love people the way God calls us to, we will seek to know what those who we wish to bless consider to be a blessing. Do you have to wake someone up from a good sleep before they are ready in order to pronounce your blessing? It may not be taken as a blessing in that case. Maybe you want to give a large amount of money to someone who has serious problems with impulse control. To such a person a large amount of money may be a death sentence. Or consider the sweet grandmother who considers it a blessing to stuff all her family with rich and fattening food, getting her feelings hurt if they will not accept a third helping. Is she really blessing them, or is the act more about her feelings about herself? Or consider whole countries in the third world who have been hindered from advancement because of their acceptance of a kind of toxic charity that enables them to stay dependent. In that case as well, the blessing is ultimately a curse.
Breaking Down the Key Parts of Proverbs 27:14
#1 “If anyone loudly blesses their neighbor…”
We are called to be a blessing. Jesus even said that we should bless our enemies and those who persecute us (Lk 6:28). But to “loudly” bless our neighbor implies that the blessing comes in an unpleasant package that feels like anything but a blessing.
#2 “…early in the morning,”
There is a time for everything (Ecc 3:1). What is a blessing at certain times may be considered a curse at other times. Consider the big picture when seeking to bless others, and make sure that this is something that will truly benefit the receiver, neither too much too early, or too little too late.
#3 “it will be taken as a curse.”
In some ways, it is good to not worry too much about how something is “taken” when it is clearly the right thing. It is always the right thing to bless someone with the loving, gentle, and clear presentation of the Gospel. Many won’t take it as a blessing because they don’t want to know the truth. Do not worry about that. But, if your intention is to bless someone in some other way, it makes sense to consider how the blessing will best be received as such. If the desire is to show love, then it is prudent to know the recipient well enough to learn what they find valuable.
Expert Overview of Proverbs
Biblical Translations of Proverbs 27:14
If anyone loudly blesses their neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse.
A loud and cheerful greeting early in the morning will be taken as a curse!
Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, will be counted as cursing.
He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him.
He who blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, It will be counted a curse to him.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.