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One Lesson Not Learned in Kindergarten
by: Dr. Skip Myers
Pastor of Smiths Station Baptist Church
web posted February 2, 2007
I once read a book entitled, Everything I Needed Know I Learned in Kindergarten. The author said that as he matured, he discovered that most of the valuable lessons he had learned and now used were taught to him in kindergarten. So he decided to make a list of these lessons and this little book of basic life lessons became a huge bestseller.
As I read through this book, I found I needed a refresher course on several of them. I still speak with my mouth full. I still interrupt others when they are talking and I am forever trying to break in some line somewhere. Isn’t that the way with all of us? We are always looking for a shortcut so we don’t have to wait. We look for a quicker route to work; a shorter checkout line; a restaurant that’s not crowded after church on Sundays. (Of course, you could get to lunch on Sunday earlier if your preacher would….. You know the rest of the story.)
One central lesson all of us learn at a very early age is sharing. Sharing is not something that comes natural to most of us. We live in a world that says what is ours is ours. We’ve worked hard for what we have and so should you. We are taught to look out for #1 and get what you can while you can. I have recently found myself in a personal life situation that has shown me that I evidently must have been off eating paste the day the sharing lesson was taught in my kindergarten class at Lawndale Baptist Church in Greensboro, North Carolina.
I have also spent some time studying a passage of scripture that simply states that the Lord expects His children to be people who share. But how do we define sharing and at what level are we expected to share with others? Some people would quickly give another person their last penny or the shirt off their back. Is Christian giving defined by the simple sharing of possessions or is there more to it than this? Can I pat myself on the back because I am willing to give to another in need?
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind, regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4)
If you go on and read the next few verses we are given the example of obedient sharing seen in the life of Jesus. The level of His giving is defined by one central act of obedience—the cross. I want to share with you five levels of sharing and hope that you are going to commit yourself to deepening the way you share so that it can be more reflective of the way Jesus shared. I know I need to relearn this lesson in my life.
Level 1: I share in order to get recognition from others. I share to be considered a good person. Level 2: I share from the wealth of what I have. I share because I will still have plenty left. Level 3: I share to the point of personal inconvenience. I share to the point that it truly costs me personally. Level 4: I share to the point of personal sacrifice. I share by giving myself and not just a portion of my possessions. Level 5: I share to the point of spiritual joy. I share who I am spiritually with others while I am meeting a need in their lives.
We all share at each of these levels throughout the course of our lives. But many times we stop short of meeting a person’s real need. We may share money or food and that is truly a wonderful act of sharing but don’t stop before you share who you are in Christ and who He is in you. Sharing to meet someone’s spiritual need is the greatest source of joy we can experience. Such sharing may be difficult but the joy is worth it. Let’s share together in His House this Sunday. I’ll see you there.
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