Sharing or Comparing
By Jacqi Ballough
“Mom, could you please not pack so much food in my lunch box next time?”
Having just picked up my son from playing sports all afternoon with friends, this comment sent up a major red flag. He is the typical boy who could eat you out of house and home and never rejects food.
As I glanced over, I saw his face. A face I have seen and experienced numerous times myself.
He had forgotten his identity in Christ.
A friend had made a comment about my son’s abundance and compared it to his lack. In short, it hurt. My son felt shame for having too much and had lost all gratitude to God for supplying it. He wanted to be accepted and similar to his friend, not “different.” In these moments, my flesh considers returning criticism for the comparison, but thankfully the Lord has shown me to come into His presence with thanksgiving and blessing. What is the silver lining?
“Did you share with him?’
“That’s great! We can thank God for giving us so much we are able to share.”
A discussion followed reminding my son there are always going to be people who have more and those who have less. Comparisons take our eyes off the Lord and steel our joy and relationships. Sharing on the other hand brings us closer to God and others. The Bible is full of examples.
Think of the little boy who had two fish and five loaves of bread. Imagine if he didn’t share his abundance that day. The Lord used what he had to feed more than 5,000 people! (John 6:1-14)
King Solomon’s wisdom and prosperity was shared with all of Judah and Israel. “They were very contented with plenty to eat and drink. …The district governors faithfully provided daily food for Solomon’s court which required 150 bushels of choice flour, 300 bushels of cornmeal, 10 oxen, 20 cattle, 100 sheep, as well as other game.” (1 Kings 4: 20-34)
The parable of the talents sums it up well too! We can burry our talent (or abundance) and hide it from everyone in fear (or shame) or put it to use, being good stewards of what we have been given. (Matthew 25:14-34
God will give us our talents, time, and resources to use according to His plan. If we reject those things, ultimately we are rejecting God. We thank Him for what he has supplied whether it is in plenty or want, pray blessings on those around us, and seek his guidance in how to use what we have. Trust God. Thank Him for what he has given others as well. We don’t need to be ashamed of His gifts but share them.
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philippians 4:12