As our daughter is growing up, we are trying to teach her about sharing. One day, I told her we were going to share a cookie. I took a little piece of the cookie and gave it to her. She started crying. I was confused. I asked her, "What's wrong?" She answered me, "I want to share cookie." Apparently, she didn't think that what I had given her constituted sharing. I think she expected more. I think she expected equal shares based on what we had been teaching her. It got me thinking about what sharing is. My first step was to try to find how God defines sharing in His Word.
John the Baptist
And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” Luke 3:10-11
Jesus - Sermon on the Mount
And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. Matthew 5:40-42
Jesus and His encounter with Zacchaeus
And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:8-10
And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. Acts 2:44-45
But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:17-18
Early Church - Part 2
Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. Acts 4:32-35
If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James 2:15-17
As I read these passages, it seems as though sharing might look more like splitting something 50/50. I think that as we teach our daughter about sharing, that would make sense to her. If I told her that we would share a cookie, it would make sense that I get half and she gets half. It would also apply to taking turns, the idea that sharing should be done with equality and fairness with each person getting an equal amount of time with the toy. Does this mean that I should give half of what I have away? Does it mean that if I have 2 coats, I should give 1 away and not buy another? Is Luke 3:10-11 a command or just a stretch goal? What do you think? Do you know of other passages that speak about sharing?