The Office Supplies

I put the word “sharing” in inverted commas because while everyone else in the office sees it as sharing, I see it as everyone else taking my supplies!

Acts 4:32-37

Reference: All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. (Acts 4:32 NIV)

Explore: In my department at work we all sit in an open plan office. While we each have our own cubicle and drawers, we can all see and hear each other.

Having moved from a work place where I had my own office, I thought this would be very distracting. However, due to the nature of my work, the collaborative conversations are often advantageous.

One thing that has taken me time to acclimatise to though, is the “sharing” of office supplies. I put the word “sharing” in inverted commas because while everyone else in the office sees it as sharing, I see it as everyone else taking my supplies!

Having come from a solo office I always made sure I had sticky tape, scissors, pens and any standard office equipment at my desk. Clearly everyone else has been used to the communal supplies, so instead of gathering their own equipment they are more than happy to use mine… every single time!!

It became so predictable that people would use my things that it became a bit of a joke. If anyone called out to the room to borrow a stapler or pen then everyone would just point straight to me.

To be honest, I really didn’t mind people using my belongings, as long as they were returned and available when I needed them.

Application: The early church sounds like it was set up a little similarly to my office supplies. While it was clear who had originally owned their possessions, they were held loosely and readily donated to those in need.

We often work so hard to secure our belongings that we don’t want to let them go once we have them in our grasp. However, every purchase we make needs to be held loosely and included in our mission to serve God.

It’s not just our tithe and our time that we can give to God, but everything we own.

We may not be called to sell our homes, but we can certainly open them up to offer hospitality and shelter. We may purchase our favourite food for the pantry, but what quality of food do we give to those in need?

The early church showed that we can give to God anything we have in our possession. But this only happens when we are committed to the cause and hold loosely to our belongings and tightly to the love of God.

Prayer: Lord, often I find myself holding so tightly to my possessions with both hands that I don’t have a spare hand to help others. May I desire to serve You so completely that You are the One that I hold so fiercely. Amen.

What possession do you find most difficult to share?

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This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.