2005-08-01 - Tough Lessons in Sharing
Originally Published 1999-09-13
Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
A lesson of what not to do, if you are a Siamese twin and your other half really gets on your nerves, was learned in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Don't try what the late Marco de Solisa did to his late brother Roberto. After a heated argument, Marco pulled out a revolver and shot his brother in the head. They shared portions of the same circulatory system, and when Roberto died, Marco soon followed.
Christians are to be those types of people who share. It is so easy for us to get caught up in material things, and to be possessed by our possessions. But it should not be so with us. We don't live for things. We live for Christ, and the things we have are only good when they are used and possessed unto the glory of God.
Sharing is more than about things, however. We are also to share each others afflictions. "...knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are of our comfort." 2 Corinthians 1:7. In 1 Peter 4:13, our trials are even called, "sharing in the sufferings of Christ." This passage also says that when we experience these trials, we are also to keep on rejoicing.
We are told that we share the holiness of Christ when we are disciplined (Hebrews 12:10). We also share an inheritance with all other saints (Colossians 1:12). We all know something about what it means to share an inheritance - at least in principle - but do you realize that if you are in Christ, you are part of this huge heavenly family that shares a common inheritance? How sad that our heavenly family, which shares this common inheritance, often looks so like earthly families that squabble with each other and fight over petty things.
These are only a few of the Biblical passages that talk about the topic of sharing. Clearly, we are to share. What does it look like? How do you know when you are someone who shares those things that you have been blessed with? Well, I bet it looks different with each person, but for starters, we must adopt a mindset that understands that the things of Earth are not really our possessions. The things of Earth are owned by God, and we are simply stewards. This will inform how we use and share those things with which God has entrusted to our care.
Sharing is, again, also more than simply about things. Sharing, for some, might be taking the effort to teach a sixth grade Sunday School class, sharing in the burden of the work in the church, and also sharing the talent that God has given to you. Sharing might mean watching someone's kids so they can go out and share the gifts God has given them. Sharing really is more than about things. May God give us the grace to learn to share our possessions, time, talents, and wisdom graciously and joyously, even as Christ has so fully shared His forgiveness with us.