Didache: Share without hesitation and with discretion

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If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. 2 John 1:10

“Give to every one who asks you, and don’t ask for it back. The Father wants his blessings shared. Happy is the giver who lives according to this rule…

Do not be one who opens his hands to receive, or closes them when it is time to give…Do not hesitate to give, and do not complain about it. You will know in time who is the good Rewarder.

Do not turn away from one who is in want; rather, share all things with your brother, and do not say that they are your own. For if you are sharers in what is imperishable, how much more in things which perish…

Welcome anyone coming in the name of the Lord. Receive everyone who comes in the name of the Lord, but then, test them and use your discretion.

If he who comes is a transient, assist him as far as you are able; but he should not remain with you more than two or three days, if need be. If he wants to stay with you, and is a craftsman, let him work for his living.

But if he has no trade, use your judgment in providing for him; for a Christian should not live idle in your midst. If he is dissatisfied with this sort of anarrangement, he is a Christ peddler. Watch that you keep away from such people.”

Didache, a.k.a. “The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles” that was viewed as canon by some thus it is included in the Apostolic Fathers. (late first or early second century). These excerpts, translated and edited by Tony Jones, come from 1.5; 4.5, 7-8; 12.1-5.

Today’s post comes explores the word “share” in an early Christian work that gives us a balanced view. We must share without hesitation and with discretion.

We must share without hesitation and without complaint because God is the good Rewarder. As sharers of what is imperishable, the least we can do is share what is perishable.

And yet, we do not do this blindly. I found the detailed thoughts related to using discretion particularly insightful. They match today’s Scripture.

In short, Christians should share by providing short term aid, by encouraging people to work, while also avoiding “Christ peddlers” who will try to take advantage of generous Christians.

This makes sense and alerts us to share without hesitation and with discretion in a way that does not give handouts that create dependencies but hand ups that build disciples.

This balanced view reminds me of the example that Dan and Claudette Busby have exhibited to me over the years. May God help all of us share without hesitation and with discretion.