Sunday, August 11, 2013

Share With Others

One of the most difficult things for me to do as we live and work in Uganda is to share my possessions. It seems so difficult, as naturally selfish people, to give up some of our things and a lot of our time and most especially our privacy. As a westerner, I occasionally find it very difficult to share my home. When God blessed us with our wonderful home in Uganda we made a deal with Him; we agreed that we would never send anyone away but would provide a place for all visitors. We usually have a long term guest or two at our home along with the occasional short term visitor and the very occasional drop by visitor. Many times I do not feel so bad about sharing my food or giving the guest a bed to sleep on but I find it very difficult to share my time and privacy. I have been rude and unwelcoming on occasion as God challenges me to keep my end of the deal. I wonder what people thought of my Christianity let alone my work as a missionary when I was rude and unwelcoming.

I realize even more, as we come back to Canada, how many in our culture guard their homes as impenetrable castles where a month-in-advance appointment is needed to be made to get through the front doors. Even more difficult is the aspect of giving up our time. We would rather give the local food bank some money or tinned food than give up some of our valuable time to engage the needy in relationships that might actually transform us and them!

By sharing our possessions and our time we are showing love and faith. Love gives up things for others and faith says even though this act of giving things away decreases my stock of things and eats up my time  I will trust God that in the end it will bless me. Obedience always leads to blessings. My most treasured blessing is the joy and peace I feel when I share my possessions and time.

Hebrews chapter 13 gives us as believers some simple and transformational rules for us as God's children. In verse 16 it says "And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased." I think this verse gives us the key to giving up things (sacrifices); if we are seeking to please God we will be more willing and likely to give up things. If we are focused on pleasing ourselves we will find sharing very difficult.

Remember the joy you feel when you share something? We were designed to share. Sharing allows us to partake in God's overflowing love -- a love that doesn't run out of things to give away!

Have you forgotten how to share? What do you find most difficult to share? God will be pleased as we learn to share all of what we have been given by Him.