The world has seemingly suddenly become fascinated by the idea of the sharing economy: people everywhere are collaborating to consume goods, and services, and entrepreneurs are seizing the opportunity to build multi billion dollar businesses like airbnb on the concept.
Indeed the idea of the sharing economy is one that builds community and enriches lives while making more efficient use of the resources available to mankind.
Instructively, just like every idea which has inherent good (every good and perfect gift is from above), one finds that the model of the sharing economy closely mirrors God’s model for building community, and enjoying resources among his children.
The kernel of the idea is distinctly expressed in God’s framework for the body of Christ.
Ephesians 4:16 AMP
For because of Him the whole body (the church, in all its various parts), closely joined and firmly knit together by the joints and ligaments with which it is supplied, when each part [with power adapted to its need] is working properly [in all its functions], grows to full maturity, building itself up in love.
We find this framework fully deployed in the early church as believers suffered external persecution and deprivation which ironically however, only resulted in greater internal cohesion and abundance.
Acts 4:32 AMP
Now the company of believers was of one heart and soul, and not one of them claimed that anything which he possessed was [exclusively] his own, but everything they had was in common and for the use of all.
It does however looks today like the church has ceded the underlying wisdom of the sharing economy to the business world. In exchange, we have adopted the canning economy: “get all you can, can all you get and sit on the can”.
When we strip it all down, we will find that at the heart of this Canning Economy is a complete lack of faith in the ability of God to meet our needs. The fear that drives our behaviour is, “if we share all that we have, what happens on the rainy day?”
My prayer is that God will help us confront our fears and build trust in his ability (and not our savings) to meet our every need.
Meanwhile, we can start to confront that fear today by taking action to consciously share. Look in your house or account today and share/give out something.