Something to Share

by Scarlett Stough

The working family often finds itself with too much month left and too little money. Prices for food go up while their wages buy less than it used to buy. Food banks find themselves unable to meet the need for food. Have we considered that by withholding the help we could give, no matter how small, we might be stealing? Paul exhorted former thieves:

He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
Ephesians 4:28

To the elders of Ephesus, Paul exhorted them by his example and Jesus' teaching:

In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: "It is more blessed to give than to receive."

We have an observation and a promise of blessing in Proverbs 11:24-26:

One man gives freely yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. People curse the man who hoards grain, but blessing crowns him who is willing to sell.

Our giving should be out of compassion, not out of a desire to feel good about ourselves; but, those who are generous and kind to others find happiness which isn't found in hanging on to every penny.

We are exhorted: "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers" (Galatians 6:10).

We are not expected to give what we don't have to give. The apostle Paul advised the Corinthians to give "according to their means" (2 Corinthians 8:11). He told them: "For the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have" (verse 12).

Jesus told us, "…whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me" (Matthew 25:40). I don't think we should look for loopholes, asking "who is my brother?"