2 Corinthians 9:12-14 – This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. (NIV)
One does not have to have kids to know that the concept of sharing is a difficult one for young children to grasp. The words "mine" or "no" usually follow the suggestion to share something with a sibling or playmate. A recent observation of such an event prompted me to wonder why we teach our children to share. Is it merely to decrease the fighting and noise in our homes, or is it because we know that sharing is the right thing to do? After all, sharing shows caring, compassion, generosity, goodness, kindness, and love, and these are great values to teach our kids. However, if we know that sharing is the right thing to do, why do we sometimes refuse to do it?
Sadly, we're often ready to share opinions, stories, and jokes, but fall short when it comes to really sharing our time to help, our ability to work for good, or our finances to support something or someone outside the immediate family.
As Christians, we need to remember the values of sharing and why we share. Sharing is the root of stewardship and the giving of one's time, talents, and treasures to the glorification of God. Sharing is also the reflection of one's character. When we truly believe something, we should act accordingly. The reverse is also true: our actions reveal what we really do believe. Sharing shows that we have experienced God's grace and mercy, and is the recognition that we have indeed been blessed.
Paul reminds the Christians in the Corinthian church that when they share, they are part of a circle of blessing. The people receiving the gifts are blessed, God will be praised as a result, and the receivers in turn would pray for the givers.
We too can be part of the circle of blessing! And we will be when we share our time, talents, and treasures, and pass God's blessings on to others. Ultimately, God will be praised and glorified! That's our chief end, and that's quite simply why we're here.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the many blessings received by Your grace and mercy. Help us to share our time, talents, and treasures so that in all we say and do, Your holy name will be praised through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Amen.