“Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common.” –Acts 4:32
Given today’s advancements in technology, it’s easier for us to dispose our possessions for the benefit of others. Through pictures, videos and brief histories, we can present the things we own so that others may benefit from them.
Over the years I’ve collected many things. I enjoy shopping at yard sales and thrift stores, and stores like Costco and Walmart… I’m a sucker for a good deal! I also grew up in the country, where having space to store things wasn’t ever a problem. It’s amazing how cheap land can be in some of these areas!
I wouldn’t consider myself a hoarder. When I think of that, I think of someone who’s struggling with slothfulness, who has many things disorganized and in cramped spaces. And yet, it’s easy to be a squirrel and store up many nuts. Perhaps the freedom that comes from dispossessing our possessions can be more fully realized through Kingdom Living, through a willingness to share what we have with others. It would be yet another antidote to consumerism and an opportunity for new or better friendships. It might also help us make more informed decisions about the products we buy and whether they’re made in an ethical way.
Of course, many people who have close friendships already have a generous attitude and would lend something they have to someone else who could use it for some period of time. In some cases, trust is necessary, like when it is a new friend whom one doesn’t know as well, because if the friendship severs, you may never get your stuff back. There is no perfect way to avoid this, and it is best to be optimistic in trusting someone rather than assume otherwise, an aspect of the Golden Rule, unless you have good reason not to. However, technology also affords us a means to make more informed decisions about whom we may trust, and correspondingly, opportunities for more friendships and an ability to share or borrow things we might find useful.
A couple years ago, while moving from one place to another, I decided to make a list of things I’ve collected, storing these items in labeled bins. In some cases, I took photos of the items so I’d have a better listing. Currently, I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be a good idea to share this list with others, people I trust who may want to borrow something useful or interesting, even if it’s just something that sits on a shelf and adds a sense of joy from having, and even if only for a time. It could serve as a nice reminder of a friendship too!
In a larger sense, assuming there was a good place where trust could more readily be established through learning about someone’s character, such as PureHeartCulture.org, I could share this list with everyone there, or at least those whom I’m disposed to trust based on shared values and/or service. This would be a nice step forward in Kingdom Living! And, perhaps a fun way for adult “show and tell.” Wouldn’t you agree?
“Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.” –Acts 2:43-47
Image source: https://less.works/less/framework/introduction.html