32 Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. 36 Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet.
And then as I reread the passage I come this important phrase: those who believed were of one heart and soul, If I felt like that about my family, friends and neighbours.... then it would be easy to share things with them. My problem is that I don't. I tend to think...yes I love these folks but I am different than they are. I love them, but most of them I wouldn't lay down my life for and THIS STUFF is MINE. Selfishness plays a role there. As does the thought "they should earn it somehow". Nothing in life is free so why should I give stuff away. BUT if I treat others like they are apart of me....all that stuff melts away. And I'm thinking that's how it was for these early believers. They thought of each other as their very own selves, so selling stuff to provide for their needs was a natural thing to do.
I wonder..... should we be like that? Is that just an natural extension of being part of the family of God? But then how do I reconcile the "each person should work for their things" which is also a biblical concept?
How does one weigh it all out?
I don't know.
I do know that I am learning to be more free with my things. Learning to give stuff away to those in need, or sometimes just those in want....wants and needs are different you know... :)
I'm learning to trust those prompts of the Holy Spirit within me.
I just know it would be difficult for me to live as the first believers in the Lord AT THIS POINT..... unless the Spirit moved mightily within me and within others as he did in those days. Too hard otherwise to not either feel taken advantage of or like I was beholden to others...
Neither fits well.
But the Spirit can do mighty things.
in the meantime all I can do is continue to listen closely to what he would have me do.
What about you?
How does this passage make you think?
Would it be an easy thing to live communally like the first believers did? Selling your stuff and sharing the profits with everyone who had need within your group?
Or would it take a filling by the Holy Spirit to make it possible?