Imagine with me for a moment that you are standing in a candy store with two of your kids. If you don’t have kids, imagine that you do for the sake of this illustration. You are standing in one of those big candy stores with rows upon rows and bins upon bins containing all kinds of assortments of mouth-watering tasty treasures. Both of your kids want some candy, but to simplify things, you fill up one large bag with some of their favorites and then hand it to your oldest. You make sure to let him know that he needs to share it with his younger sister whenever she wants any. There is one bag, but what is inside the bag is intended for them both. Your oldest is not the owner; he is the steward.
However, in time, you notice that your oldest child is hoarding all of the candy, only grudgingly giving a piece to his sister when she cries. What will you do? When the candy runs out, will you go back to the store and buy another bag to give to your oldest again? Or will you make other arrangements this time?
Conversely, what if your oldest child had done something different altogether. What if after you left the store, he began to share the contents of the bag not only with his little sister but also with other kids in your neighborhood when you got home? Each face lit up with joy as your oldest gladly handed out piece after piece of candy. What would you do this time when the candy bag ran out? Would you go back to the store and give it to your oldest again? Or would you even consider giving him more this time seeing as it brought so much happiness to so many people?
Many of us as parents would likely give more candy to the child who distributed it to others. And many of us as parents would not trust the child who hoarded the bag of candy with any more, at least not anytime soon. It’s not that our love for our child would have changed. But our child’s experience of that love, demonstrated in this case through blessing and provision, would have been diminished as a result of his behavior.
We have a Father in heaven who has a very big family. His love for us is secure. He will always be our Father. But our experience of His love, whether through blessing, provision, presence or any number of things, will oftentimes depend on how we honor Him through how we treat the others He loves as well.
Give, and it will be given to you. Hoard, and you may miss out on much of what God desires to give.