When we think of sharing we think of little kids having to share their toys. As we get older it becomes sharing the rake or lawnmower out of our shed to our neighbours. It usually consists of giving something of yours to someone else, with the understanding that you’re going to get it back when they are done. This isn’t a bad characteristic to learn by any means however I don’t think it really encapsulates what it means to share and what it should mean to us.
Sharing to those following Jesus takes on other ideals like selflessness and stewardship. The first thing that needs to be understood is whatever it is that we may need to share; it was never ours to begin with. As soon as you treat sharing as a transaction between the borrower and the one borrowing then we have strayed from the underlying importance of what sharing really means. Sharing, at its utmost core, is giving to someone what is rightfully theirs as much as it is yours. Typically we don’t like this and tend to stray away from this type of thinking because we don’t like to think anyone has a right to something that we earned. If I saved up and bought my car, then there is no way in the world that anyone else has a right to use it, especially before me. However, sharing trumps silhouettes of ownership and exposes the world as it really is: everything owned by God.
To share is not to allow someone to use something of mine but to allow other people to partake in what God has provided. We are mere stewards of everything we have: time, money, skills and stuff. To buy into the lie that it is actually ours, even if it was our own sweat that landed in on our laps is to buy into a false and upsetting reality. The world is God’s and everything in it.
Remember that next time you need to share something, drive someone somewhere or do something for someone. Don’t make it into a them being needy and you being a giver situation, because that eventually turns sour. Don’t make it into them needing you to make it another day. See it for what it really is; you giving as many people access to what God has given to his creation. Seeing provisions as a blessing and not a paycheck. Seeing helping someone as natural as helping yourself instead of seeing it as another reason for you to be above them. Sharing is not about you being the giver and someone else being the receiver. Instead, its about us all being the receivers of what God has given to us already and us trying to do a good job of sorting and evening that out.