Holy Habits 7: Sharing Resources
‘All believers were together and had all things in common’. Acts 2:44
As we continue to reflect on the characteristics of the early church from Acts 2: 42-47, we have a picture of the early Christian communities of disciples supporting one another and those in need in the wider community by the generous sharing of their resources.
They shared and sold possessions to create a common fund which could be used to support those in need of income or resources. It was a powerfully prophetic, counter-cultural expression of community then. This remains so today in our own culture as we are encouraged to live separate independent lives, protecting our individuality, our privacy and our belongings.
This is a particularly challenging holy habit for us all. It is not about offering others what you can spare, nor is it taking from others what you would like. To share something requires us to change our relationship with that item, perhaps releasing our power over it, or taking more account of how we use it.
Sharing roles or gifts may mean giving up some control and accepting that a task may be completed in different ways. True sharing is about working together in an open, honest and thoughtful manner for the greater good in the name of Christ.
To have ‘all things in common’ is about giving and receiving, and it needs to be mutual. It could mean sharing belongings, skills, ideas, time or roles. Sharing may not be the obvious route to take, and may take courage to initiate it, but from those occasions where we have shared deeply with others, we know it is often ultimately more rewarding than simply giving.
Sharing resources may involve changing the way we think and the way we operate, so it is not always easy. Sharing can be costly and demanding when we are willing to share something of ourselves but for many it is a way to a life-giving and transforming experience.
As you explore this Holy Habit, think about the different relationships that you have with individuals, the church and the community. What do you currently have in common and what opportunities are there for sharing and growing our commonality and understanding?
Sharing things together helps me to realise that my discipleship is not a solo journey. I am walking a path with others and as I share with them, I meet Christ. Am I open to that blessing?
Here are some ideas to try this month and afterwards:
1. Thank God for all you have been given. Reflect and pray this week about your own attitude to money, possessions and sharing your talents.
2. Develop a rule or rhythm of life which includes practical commitments to living simply and generously, with resources seen as gifts not possessions.
Count your blessings!
Want what you have, rather than having what you want