The squirrel with its bushy tail darting here and there fascinates me. It almost seems as if someone has run fingers along its back and left a mark of affection! Observing it when it visits my garden has always been a delight. Yet again, God uses the curriculum of creation to teach me a thing or two!
When a squirrel spots food, it claims ownership and chases everything away that competes – whether it be a crow or even another of its own kind. What amuses me is the squirrel would also chase other preys away even when it is not right with the food, let alone not eating it. It protects it with all its might. Possessiveness is what comes to mind.
The focus is on its own needs – survival of the fittest one may say! As Christians this is a behaviour that should not be imitated. We do tend to lean towards doing just that though. It is a world where acceptance is based on achievements and material possessions. You are ‘successful’ when you have the best of things. It is all about “I”.
We generally think of sin as doing bad things – like murder or adultery or divorce or theft. However, what we don’t realise is that even what we consider ‘good’ can be sin. Sin is not doing the wrong thing or the bad thing. Rather, sin is “everything that does not come from faith” (Romans 14:13). Trust in God is the opposite of “I”. No wonder the “I” is in the centre of the word sin! The lesser the importance on the “I”, the more the focus can shift to “U” which is in the centre of trust, i.e. addressing God.
When our focus shifts, whatever is pleasing to God is what pleases us. Loving Him and loving others become key. We realise that all that we have belong to God – thus we are simply stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. That just changes everything! We shift from being a squirrel safeguarding what we have and become more like the crow that shares everything!
Isn’t sharing what the early church did? Have they not set an example? “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had….. There were no needy persons among them” (Acts 4:31,32).
We are told in Romans 12:13 to “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practise hospitality.” We are quick to do good acts before man, one off acts of donating to the poor and needy outside the church. But are we able to share with those within the Body, who are in need? In fact Paul writes to the Ephesians the purpose of doing something useful with his own hands is “that he may have something to share with those in need” (Ephesians 4:28). He instructed Timothy to command the people “to be generous and willing to share” (1 Timothy 6:18). The writer of Hebrews reminds us “Do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Hebrews 13:16).
Are we able to say, “All the believers are one in heart and mind?” Sharing isn’t an easy concept especially given how the world trends have conditioned us. Each man to his own! We want more and more to live a better and even better life.
Let’s ask God for guidance even in the smallest of decisions, in every ‘mundane’ thing we do so that we may live a life for Him that is pleasing to Him!