When I was young, there were dire consequences if I didn’t conform to the rules of sharing. I kissed goodbye every hope I had for even touching the precious toy I refused to share and sat in shame when my mom banished me to the corner.
But that was nearly 20 years ago. Why is sharing still important?
The best answer I can come up with is fishing trips.
A few of my friends and I decided to go on an overnight trip this weekend to Galveston to soak up the sun, sleep on the seawall and fish till we turned red (sunburn is a killer). The group was so diverse that we each brought something to help out someone else. Those who had extra sleeping bags could swap one out for a fishing pole or extra water bottles or a ride to the beach (RideShare anyone?). It was an atmosphere in which each of us was looking out for another and belongings could be borrowed or given.
For the longest time I thought the epitome of sharing was giving to someone who is in need, whether that need was as simple as sharing water bottles or as life-changing as sharing the hope Christ gives. In any of those cases, I was doing something that I saw as enriching someone else’s life. But recently I’ve realized sharing isn’t just to bless someone else, there’s something that happens in my own heart.
Part of the beauty of following Christ is the gift of hope, salvation and love from God. And if that’s true, then becoming more like God would be to give to others in return. Sharing changes who you are. It takes away selfishness and pride (“I need this more than he does”) to replace it with selflessness and humility (“I want him to have this because he could use it”).
However, sharing isn’t always as easy as lending out fishing poles. At its best, selfless sharing becomes closest in appearance to giving. It requires trust and it challenges who you are. It pushes you past your comfort zones. Isn’t that what sharing in kindergarten was all about? You gave up something you wanted most to someone else.
But learning how to share has to grow to that point – from building blocks, to fishing poles, to God’s love. As it grows, it changes our priorities, our point-of-view, and who we are. So go ahead, make your kindergarten teacher proud. Share.