A newspaper headline read, '"The Hardship of Sharing." The discussion revolved around the economic reconstruction in eastern Germany. It talked about the demand for sacrifices, the threat to affluence in the West, the immense costs, a slackening economy, inflation, stagnating GNR and the need for a redistribution from West to East. The prognosis was not one of easy times ahead. From that point of view, the title seemed justified—the hardship of sharing. Where to start? What to share, and how?
As pessimistic as articles like these sound, they already contain an important fact, namely that there is no permanent answer in the material, mortal realm. Seeing that is a step toward the solution—a more spiritual view of provision and need.
We will feel a lot more capable of helping our own and other countries if we learn that the true foundation of sharing is spiritual. As a spiritual activity, giving derives its supply from the infinite source—God, or Spirit. We share from the abundance of what God gives us. That is why sharing can be effortlessly joyful, gratifying, constructive, and unforced. When our hearts are full of how bountifully God cares for us, it feels natural to share with our neighbor. We may feel prompted to give whatever will help him most—whether that is funds and supplies or the essential prayer, love, and helping hand needed in the rebuilding effort. The sharing response inspired by Spirit is both kind and intelligent and therefore able and willing to meet our own and our brother man's needs.