Toddlers’ Rules of Ownership
- If I like it, it’s mine.
- If it’s in my hand, it’s mine.
- If I can take it from you, it’s mine.
- If I had it in the past, it’s mine.
- If it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
- If I’m doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.
- If it looks just like mine, it’s mine.
- If I think it’s mine, it’s mine.
- If it’s yours and I steal it, it’s mine.
We smile at the selfishness of young children who are struggling to mature and understand the concept of sharing. It’s not a matter to smile about, though, when the same attitude manifests itself in the lives of adults.
We all struggle, I think, with the concept of what’s mine. If I earned it, it’s mine. If I bought it with my checkbook or my credit card, it’s mine. If I drive it or live in it, it’s mine. But is it really?
As long as I believe that all that is in my possession is mine, I will struggle with feelings of selfishness. Once I understand the concept of stewardship, that it all belongs to God and He is merely letting me use it for a while, my perspective changes.
“Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready give, willing to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.” (I Timothy 6:17-19)
Praise be to God who “owns the cattle on a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10) and is so good to share with us.
For Further Study
Verses to Consider
- Deuteronomy 15:7-11
- Job 1:21
- Psalm 50:7-15
- Psalm 112:9
- Proverbs 11:24-25
- Ecclesiastes 11:1-2
- Isaiah 58:6-11
- Matthew 25:31-46
- Luke 6:27-35
- Luke 12:13-21
- Luke 14:12-14
- Acts 2:44-45
- Acts 4:34-35
- Acts 9:36
- Romans 12:13
- II Corinthians 9:6-15
- Galatians 6:10
- Ephesians 4:28
- Titus 3:8
- Hebrews 13:16
- James 1:27
- I John 3:16-18
Questions to Ponder
- Does God need anything from us?
- Can we ignore the needs of those around us?
- Is it right to only help those who can return the favor?
- If we help others, what is promised to us?
- Is it proper to give money to every bum on the street who asks for a handout?