by Tyler Quillet
I cannot tell you how many times a day I have to ask my two boys to share with each other. “But it’s mine” or “I had it first” is the common response. As adults, we don’t respond as much with the “but I had it first!” tantrum, but our hearts are all the uglier when it really comes down to it. You see, we don’t typically have others trying to take our things, so we don’t have to engage in the back in forth of who had it first. We just stingily hold tight to those possessions we adore and wouldn’t think twice about anyone else enjoying them.
In Psalm 24:1, David says, “The earth and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants, belong to the Lord.” Everything around us is God’s. It all belongs to Him. Get a little more personal, and that means we belong to God, our families belong to God, our money belongs to God, our possessions, our house, and even our toys belong to God. The word everything in this text literally means “everything.” We are called to steward well those things that God has entrusted to us. We talk often in church how to be wise stewards of our money. We’re taught to steward our time well. We know that our spouse and kids and family are a gift that we don’t take for granted. We know these things are the Lord’s and we treat them as such. So, when we read Hebrews 13:16, which says, “Don’t neglect to do what is good and to share, for God is pleased with such sacrifices,” we nod our head in agreement. But let’s talk right now a little bit about those possessions, items that if I were to grab and start messing with, your response might be a childish “That’s mine!”
I’ve got these things. You’ve got these things. Maybe they are expensive. Maybe they have a history and deep meaning. Maybe they are really important to your day-to-day life. Maybe it was a gift. Maybe it’s fragile. I don’t know the “why” when it comes to you not sharing, but let’s just practically talk about some things we could all do a better job of sharing.
The lawnmower that you use once a week while it sits in the garage the other 98 percent of the time. Your tools that maybe get used once every month or so. That chainsaw that you had to have in order to cut down that one tree that one time. Perhaps it’s your living room furniture or your man cave on a weekend afternoon in the fall while your favorite team is playing or maybe your vehicle or tractor or some larger equipment.
We have a lot of things that we don’t want to part with, if even for a few hours. Why? What if someone breaks them? What if someone steals them? What if a particular item comes back looking worse than it did when I first shared it? What if I have to buy a new part or fill it back up with gas? What if people eat all my food, sit in my favorite chair, and talk throughout the entire game? What if they keep coming back for more? Well, that would be awesome! It’s this shift in thinking that goes from “It’s mine” to “It’s God’s, and therefore, I’m just holding onto it, taking good care of it, and sharing it with others whom He has placed in my life so that they can be blessed by it.”
So, if something comes back with an empty tank of gas, then joyfully fill it up for the next time this neighbor or friend needs to borrow it. If it isn’t returned promptly, go graciously ask to borrow it back and use that time to strike up a conversation. If something gets broken, that’s okay. It was never yours to begin with and it can be fixed or replaced. Ideal? No. But, instead of being frustrated by the money you may have to spend or the time people might steal in the process, see it as an opportunity to bless others. And, as you hand one of these items over, do so with the idea that it’s probably not going to come back in the same shape it left. And that’s okay. Prepare for that, pray for a gracious heart in that, and be glad that someone will be blessed by this thing God has entrusted to you.
This is hard, I know. Hard to let go of things we’ve worked hard for, saved up for, and taken good care of. Romans 12:13 says, “Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality.” God has entrusted much to you. You are doing life with and surrounded by folks with needs. Offer those things God has given to you. Do it with a glad heart. Take joy in blessing someone who couldn’t afford to have this themselves. Enjoy the opportunities to connect with these people and use these opportunities to have gospel conversations. This is a hard step to take, but one in which God will be faithful to you in as you faithfully trust Him. And remember, it was never yours anyway—and man, is that a freeing place to live!