“Mom?” I caught his eye in the rearview mirror.
“Can we pick up another friend for youth group this week?” my son asked from the backseat.
“Is this a different friend than the other two we already pick up every week?” I asked.
He nodded and smiled. I mentally calculated how much earlier we’d have to leave to get to church in time.
“Son, how many boys are you going to invite to church?” I asked, hoping he didn’t hear the irritation in my voice.
“How many seats do we have in our van? Mom, you always tell us to share what we have. These boys don’t go to church and we do,” he responded.
Ouch. He was exactly right. I thought about one of the teenagers we take to church who shares Sunday lunches with our family every week and now, our faith.
I was embarrassed by my annoyance and needed my son’s reminder. When we share what we have, we aren’t just helping someone out. We’re seeing the world in a new way, getting a different perspective, and stirring up gratitude in our hearts. We are changing their world and our own.
I’ve learned that giving our kids (and myself) more stuff isn’t how we fill our homes with joy. Instead when we apply God’s upside kingdom economics, we find purpose and deep abiding joy by sharing what we have–instead of keeping it to ourselves.
We don’t have less when we share what we have been given. No– we have more.
It’s called Jesus math.
The true goal of parenthood is for us to create an environment at home that fosters a desire to change the world. We do this by showing our kids that giving is ultimately receiving, instead of the other way around. And sometimes, um, they show us.
God says give me what you’ve got. Think about the boy with his small lunch of fish and loaves in John 6. It wasn’t much, but he offered it any way.
God wants what we are holding in our hands. He has designed each of us in a unique way and destined us to be where we are. When we offer him what we have, he multiplies it.
What we have to offer may seem small and, no, it’s not enough, but it’s all God asks of us. He doesn’t want us to just give back. He wants it all. He will take our offering and do something miraculous with it. It’s not about what we can do; it’s about what he can do. There’s nothing more satisfying than giving God what we have so he can draw others to himself.
Think about what’s in your family’s hands today. Maybe it’s an extra room in your house, a seat in your van, a chair at your dining room table. Maybe it’s a little extra money. When we share what God has blessed us with…we don’t have less, we have more.
It’s an upside kingdom-kind of economics.