British culture believes that what we have belongs to us and that nobody has any rights to our possessions. However, the culture in Bible times was generally very different - what belonged to the family belonged to everybody in the family. This attitude is still seen in most of the developing world: so that when people become Christians they believe they have joined a family and that if they have needs the family will meet them.
When Solomon dedicated the temple, he clearly understood that the lavish gifts were not so much things that belonged to him and the people, but rather things that already belonged to God (1 Chronicles 29:14). He understood that although God had given many possessions to him, they still belonged to God and were for God’s service. In that way, he was acting as a trustee.
If we thought about our possessions in that way would we not find it easier to loan and share and give? Can we not trust the Lord to provide for us if we share what we have with others? It helps our rethinking if we are willing to pray about it and discuss it with another believer.
© Dr Paul Adams 2012