Sharing Even What’s Sparse

My son has a lot of Hot Wheels cars—and he’s just getting started. As I write this, he’s pulling one after another out of his car tub to zoom each one down a car slide. While I doubt Guinness will be calling us any time soon about breaking the world record for most extensive Hot Wheels collection, we certainly have plenty to spare. 

So, when a squabble broke out recently between my son and daughter over one of these little vehicles, I believe my exact words were, “You have eighty-five ka-thousand cars! I think you can afford to share one!” As soon as the words left my mouth, I knew something was off.

Although my logic is sound, it also reveals a lie that we all tend to believe: I only have to share if I have a lot of something. In reality, that type of thinking flies directly in the face of what Scripture teaches. If he had only one car, my son should still share it with his sister. His call to share isn’t predicated on what he’ll have left over when she takes one. It should be predicated on love. 

What’s true for my young children is true for me also. I am called to share even what feels sparse. 

Share Your Time

“Busy” is my go-to answer to the question “How are you?” I’m sure I’m not unique in this. You’re busy too. We’re all busy. None of us has a wealth of marginal time to share with others. This makes it easy to buy the lie that we should jealously guard what little free time we do have. 

However, a read through the Gospels will dispel this myth quickly. Time after time Christ stopped what He was doing or delayed where He was going to help someone in need. Had I been one of His disciples, this would have driven me nuts. I appreciate a plan and punctuality. I struggle with curveballs and unanticipated interruptions. Tell me ahead of time what’s going to happen and we’re good; throw it at me at the last second and it’ll be a struggle. 

Not so for Jesus. He was never ruled by His itinerary or hampered by His agenda. Though He certainly knew what it was like to be busy, Jesus never allowed that to be an excuse for not sharing His time. And neither should we. 

Yes, we must be careful about over-commitment. That’s a real danger, and we should guard against it. On the other hand, though, it’s easy to allow our schedule to be filled up with a whole lot of busyness and not much ministry. If the only people who served in church were those who have a lot of extra time, no ministry would ever get accomplished. 

Share Your Gifts 

Another lie that we can easily swallow is that we have to be abundantly gifted in a given area in order to serve. I must admit: I’m guilty as charged. I’m intimidated to serve in the church kitchen because I don’t consider myself gifted with cooking or hospitality. I would never want to help decorate the church because I just “don’t have an eye for it.” And music ministry? Not a chance. 

Thankfully, God gifts His children in a variety of ways in order to accomplish the ministry of the body. The areas in which I love to serve are areas from which others shy away. And vice versa. What a beautiful mosaic is created when many different parts come together to create a single picture! 

Even so, sometimes God stretches us by calling us to serve (perhaps only for a season) in a ministry that feels very uncomfortable. After all, He didn’t use a soldier to slay the Philistine giant; He used a lowly shepherd. Maybe, just maybe, He wants to use you (or me!) as well in an area where your gifting is less than abundant. 

Share Your Space 

I just admitted that I don’t have the gift of hospitality. Opening the doors of my home does not come easily or naturally for me—not because I don’t want to have people in my home but because I don’t feel confident in doing it well. I also don’t have a large home. Fitting two adults, two children, and a large dog in our house feels like quite an accomplishment—and that’s just those who live here. We don’t have a lot of space left over for company. 

While all of that is true, it’s really just an excuse. Though I don’t have an abundance of space and will never be named chef of the year, God has given us enough space to do what He’s asked. First Peter 4:9 makes it plain enough: “Be hospitable to one another without complaining.”


Maybe like me you don’t have an abundance of space to share. You live in a small house or a small apartment or maybe even a dorm room. Hospitality might look different for us than it does for others, but we’re not off the hook because our living spaces aren’t large. Having a friend in for coffee or inviting one or two people over for dinner are small but not insignificant ways to share your space. We may have to be creative, but I’m confident that we can faithfully and effectively share what God has provided in a way that will please and glorify Him. 

Share Your Resources

Just as it should be easier for my son to share his toy cars with his sister because he has a zillion of them, so we tend to think that only those who have been blessed with much are called to share. But Jesus’ disciples learned the hard way that this isn’t the case. In fact, they had to learn it a few times. They scoffed at the thought that the lad’s five loaves and two fish could make a dent in the hunger of thousands (Matt. 14:13–21). Not long after, they wondered how seven loaves of bread and a few measly fish could feed a crowd of 4,000 men (Matt. 15:32–39). And, most notably, some seemingly scorned the paltry offering of an impoverished widow as she dropped her two nearly worthless coins into the temple treasury (Mark 12:41-44). But Jesus taught them that sharing is not about having a surplus:

Summoning his disciples, he said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. For they all gave out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had—all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:43–44)

I don’t know what resources you have—or think you don’t have. Resources come in all varieties. It may be money or cookies or power tools or a vehicle. Whatever the resource is, and regardless of the amount you have, share it willingly. Who knows what God might want to do with it. Maybe He’ll feed a crowd, or maybe He’ll put a smile on a single person’s face. 

Our job is not to analyze the cost and benefit. Our responsibility is merely to be faithful stewards of what He’s entrusted to us, whether in plenty or scarcity. 

Cindy’s post includes a great reminder that Christians are called to hospitality no matter our circumstances. Looking to learn more about God’s heart for this important biblical discipline? Cultivate a welcoming heart and home with You’re Welcome Here: Embracing the Heart of Hospitality, a brand-new six-week Bible study from Revive Our Hearts. It’s our gift to you when you give a gift of any amount to the ministry. 

About the Author

Cindy Matson

Cindy Matson

Cindy Matson lives in a small Minnesota town with her husband, son and daughter, and ridiculous black dog. She enjoys reading books, drinking coffee, and coaching basketball. You can read more of her musings about God's Word at

Join the Discussion