I'm so passionate about the idea of SHARING these days, I'm seeing how it is affecting my life and those around me and I felt like I just had to talk about it a bit more. This time, in a kitchen, setting up for a meal...
Sharing Creates a Bond
by Alex Street
My kids were playing with a toy the other day. Well, I should say my youngest daughter was playing with it and when my son walked in the room he then wanted to play with it as well.
It was blue Play Doh, and when he moved in to play as well my youngest daughter covered it up and pulled it away from him. His first reaction was, “You have to share with me.” And well, she did.
As children we’re taught to share.
But as we grow up we learn to give.
Giving is different than sharing. Giving helps, but sharing will change the world.
I asked a group of teenagers a few weeks ago what the difference is between giving and sharing and they agreed with one girl’s response, “Giving can be done from a distance, but sharing creates a bond.”
Sharing creates a bond.
We constantly asked to give, told to give, we feel guilty if we don’t give enough or if we find out someone else gave more. We’re even encouraged to be a joyful giver. And yes, do that, let go of what you have, give it away. When you do, there is a cost - it will cost you as much as you gave.
And maybe that’s why its so difficult to share, because we know that sharing costs more than just the thing, it costs something relationally.
I think we teach our kids to share, because its less about the object, we are far more interested in helping them build friendships. The object being shared is a route to build a friendship between these kids. Sharing creates a bond.
It works the same way for adult humans too, when we share what we have we create a bond between people. Sharing is warm, it’s tender, it’s messy, it’s saying I have one slice of pie and I’m going to give you a fork so you can dig in.
Last Christmas my house church did a secret santa gift exchange. Ya know, those things where you end up with the cookie jar with the reindeer wearing sunglasses that you swear you gave to someone else the year before?
Except for ours, the max dollar amount was $0.00. The gift had to be an experience, it had to be about sharing something. It was the most difficult Christmas shopping I’ve ever done, taking an inventory of what I could possibly share with someone. It forced me to think beyond what item I can purchase within a budget and consider what I’m good at, what can I offer, what could be valuable?
And what came out was the idea of time.
A non-renewable resource.
We all found ways to share time with another person.
The result, stronger bonds between friends.
This, of course, is the story of Christmas.
This is the miracle of it all, that one person would choose to share their time and energy with another.
This is the Jesus story, that God entered in.
God wasn’t interested in just giving life and sustainability to this planet, but God wanted to share in this experience, or rather, let us know that God is sharing in all of this with us.
With the birth of Jesus we get this incredible hope that all of this is connected, that what I do affects what you do, that the best way to break apart this beautiful story is to start believing that we’re disconnected somehow.
Whether it’s because of where you’re from, or what you believe, or how you talk, or what you own, the point is that sharing helps us break down all those boundaries and find a common hope in this world.
The miracle is that God chooses to share with us. God chose to create a bond. What an example to follow.
This season, choose to find value in the meal together. Choose to invite people over. Choose to spend time making something for another person.
Share from what you have, because sharing creates a bond.
And if you really want to not share your play doh, just eat it, i’ve recently learned it won’t make you sick.