As I got older, I grew out of not wanting to share - at least that particular brand of selfishness. Today, I would not have much of a problem sharing things with you, UNLESS of course you want the last Oreo cookie in the package. Then, I might gnarl your arm off. However, my wife and I have definitely experienced our fair share of sharing issues among our three kiddos. "That is MY crayon!" "No, that is MY doll!" "I was watching MY basketball game on the television!" (after my son has previously watched 4 hours of basketball on TV)
In these moments, I find myself saying the same stinkin' thing my parents did - "Share and share-alike." Do the kids listen? Well... define listen. Sometimes they huff and puff, get along for a few minutes, begrudgingly share the item we have forced them to, and then argue again a few minutes later. Other times, they realize how silly their not sharing is and get along like the perfect children they are (our kids are all perfect, right?). These days, more often than not, the Lord in His grace, has motivated them to share from within so we don't have to externally motivate them so much. I really am blessed by the way our kids have responded to the Lord's work in them.
Sharing is not just a problem among snot-nosed kids like I was (or maybe still am). It is a problem in the Church, too. Many church-going folk have gotten into a pattern of not sharing Jesus. "That is MY church." "This is MY ministry." "This is MY worship service." "This is MY..." You fill in the blank. You know what I am talking about. If we are honest, we have all struggled with those feelings at one time or another. Sure, we spiritualize the language of it. I mean, when I was ten, I could come up with a darn good reason that my cousin did not need to play with my GI Joe action figure. And, so we come up with reasons why we cannot or don't even need to share the Good News of Jesus with others.
Now, I am not here to lay a big guilt trip on you for not sharing Jesus. I stink at this as much as the next guy. I get pit-sweatin' nervous when the Lord impresses upon me the need to talk to the stranger at Hardee's about the Lord. Sharing the Gospel (or anything) is just not as easily done at it is said. And so, I want to encourage you. What has the Lord done in your life? Does that make you WANT to share Jesus with others? The same kids that I have had to tell "share and share-alike" a thousand times have also taught me more about sharing then almost anyone. For example, Bella (our kindergartener going on 30) got an exciting little jewelry kit for Christmas from Mamaw and Papaw. With this little kit, you could make bracelets with names and animals in all sorts of colors and fancy-pants designs. It was pretty flippin' cool! Bella (B) was so excited! And do you know why? Because she WANTED to share her flippin' cool fancy-pants bracelets with her friends at school. And, so B spent the last part of Christmas break using every last part of that kit to make eight bracelets. Do you know how many other girls are in B's class at school? Yep, you guessed it - SEVEN! She kept one bracelet for herself and gave the rest to her little buddies at school. She made sure that each other girls bracelet had their favorite color and their initials, because she was so excited to share with them the good gift she had gotten. She was not concerned about having her own bracelet be the best; there was not talk of ME, MY, or MINE. She was given a gift out of love from Mamaw and Papaw, and she excitedly gave of that gift to many others. No motivation from the Law there. No need for me to tell her to "share and share-alike."
The Lord has been so gracious to us. In Christ Jesus, we have the best gift of all - the forgiveness of sin! No more guilt. No more trying to measure up. Jesus measured up for us. There is no need for guilt-tripping into sharing the Gospel. Let's just do it because He is so wonderful. Because "while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Is that enough reason? Let's "share and share-alike" just how flippin' fancy-pants cool it is to know the God of the universe... Because of His grace!