Proverbs 22:9 NRSV
Those who are generous are blessed,
for they share their bread with the poor.
Robert Fulghum wrote, in his book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, “share everything.” For the Christian, sharing should be second nature. We should never fail to reach out our hand to someone, even when we think they are undeserving.
We are often so busy accumulating that we forget that all of this is going to burn anyway! Years ago, I preached a sermon about not hanging onto stuff. I mean, everything we own will someday either end up in the dump, a thrift store, or a yard sale! We are holding onto yard sale junk! The Lord Jesus admonished us to stop hanging onto that which had no value and instead grasp onto that which has eternal value: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20 NRSV). We gain eternal value when we learn to share.
We have so many things that we can share: our stuff, our time, our emotions, our support, our wisdom, our experience, our physical strength, our finances. Instead of spending useless time trying to figure out why we shouldn’t share with someone, perhaps we should just begin to share liberally and often! Imagine, this economy, what it would appear like to those who are unsaved if the Christians began to give and give and give some more. (Even more than we already do.) Unfortunately, we tend to become more and more like the world around us, hanging onto stuff that doesn’t matter, when we should have our eyes on the eternal prize and begin to let go!
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life . . .” Matthew 6:25 NRSV. I like the KJV because it says “give no thought about your life.” Don’t even think about what you might need (or want or desire or lust after). If we are giving no thought to the things that are temporal, but instead trusting God to provide, then we are fully able to freely share without thought about tomorrow.
Unfortunately, the model of “having” is all around us, even within the Church. Congregation after congregation (unfortunately usually led by their pastors) have built huge physical plants, filled with expensive electronics and other such things. It becomes almost a cultural “keeping up with the Joneses” from within our own church culture! And while it’s chic now to dress down for church, I rarely see pastors wearing thrift store casual. It’s more like Macy’s casual. (Have you priced a pair of really nice flip-flops lately?)
As people, as churches, we are commanded not to store up treasures on earth, but to share. It’s a blessing to share what we have with others. If God replenishes it, then we needed it. If He doesn’t, then we didn’t need it to begin with. The thing is this: God can’t work the miraculous in our lives if we already have everything we need, we want, and could possibly ever even think about having! If we want the miraculous, then we need to begin to give so that God can have room to bless!