What’s Mine is Not Mine

Faith Schiller, Associate Campus Pastor, Willow Online | February 28, 2024

Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.” 
2 Corinthians 8:13–15 

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. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. 
Acts 4:32–35

Have you ever used the phrase, “What’s mine is yours!”? Typically, I say this to a friend when I invite them into my kitchen and let them eat from my fridge. I’m showing hospitality through temporary generosity, “open the pantry and take what you’d like!” But rarely does this kind of generosity expand beyond when my friend has left the kitchen; in fact, next time we’re out for dinner, my friend and I will likely split the bill. What’s mine is yours when I want it to be.

We live in a world that tells us to strive for individual success, prosperity, and financial gain. Even more so, we often experience a scarcity mindset that tells us resources are finite, and we should gather as much as possible while we can! With this cultural backdrop, reading a passage like 2 Corinthians 8:13–15 can be jarring. Today’s economic schemes are deeply entrenched in political ideology, so for just a moment, I want to invite you to separate politics and money to consider this question: what does economic equality look like in the kingdom of God?

Equality doesn’t mean everything is the same, but it does mean that in status, rights, and opportunity, everything is equal. Throughout the Bible, we see God consistently concerned about the flourishing of all people, and He intentionally uses His people as the means to bring equality,  wholeness, and restoration on the earth. The churchy phrase for this idea is that we are ushering in the kingdom of God on earth. While there is uniqueness in the kingdom of God, inequality has no place. 

I’m challenged by the notion that my resources are not really mine. They are God’s. God has never asked me to be generous when I want to be, He has asked me to give so that no one will have a need and there might be equality. Scripture tells us that the early church had everything in common so that no one was in need (Acts 4:32–35). If we were to take these invitations seriously, what would that mean for the way we spend and give our resources?

Next Steps

I wish there were an easy next step for this concept, but I think there are only more questions. Today, I invite you to wrestle with these questions and see what God stirs in your heart.

  • How willing are you to part with your resources when God invites you to?
  • Do you see your resources as yours or as God’s?
  • How much is enough for you?
  • What does it mean for you to give so that others might have enough?