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. Acts 4:32
How tightly do you hold onto your stuff? If your house was on fire what one thing would you grab as you left your house? I'm assuming you'd pick up the children first. I believe that we all have a sort of God-shaped hole in our souls which we fill with whatever comes to hand. Unfortunately, in our materialistic culture things often seem nearer to hand than God. Even if we allow God into our lives we often try to squash him a bit to allow room for all the things that the advertisers tell us we need so desperately and our lives wouldn't be worth living without.
When we love our possessions so much that they take the place of God in our hearts we are committing idolatry and breaking the second commandment. And it's very hard to swim against the tide of consumerism with the constant barrage of adverts telling us that we're just not successful, sexy, comfortable, beautiful or healthy unless we buy this car, mobile phone, new sofa, power washer or bike. But buying is not biblical! The only mention of Jesus in connection with it that I can think of is when he turned over the tables in the temple market! I'm not saying we shouldn't shop, just that when we do we should be aware that the forces seducing us to have things are of the world, and not necessarily of God. He tells us to store up our treasures in heaven and to share our earthly possessions with others.
And surprise, surprise, the life style that the early Christians were modelling for us in Acts is not only good for us but also imperative for creation. The earth cannot cope with our escalating consumption of its precious resources. Sharing, and taking second hand rather than buying new are hugely planet-friendly things to do.
May Top Tip
Give and Take!
A Church in Hampshire - St. John's - has started a Live Lightly List - it's an A4 black book on a string at the back of church for anyone to write in things that they would like to i) give, ii) lend, or iii) want.
Members are invitried to "Pop into church and have a look through it or write in what you want to give, lend or need with your phone number or e-mail address and let's get sharing! "