Read: Acts 4:32–37
No one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. Acts 4:32
It may be a uniquely American or capitalist belief that when people have an ownership stake in something, they are more attentive to its care and upkeep. Private property is better maintained than public land. Homeowners respect their property more than those who rent. Therefore, private wealth is preferable to public welfare.
However, when you see some of the great public parks in New York, Boston, Paris, London, and other dynamic and diverse cities, you find that people treasure and maintain public space with great zeal. There is a sense that deep down we understand that things we hold in common are the things that are most valuable to us. And when we recognize that we should have a stake in what is common to us all, our obsession with that which is private is revealed for what is truly is: idolatrous, selfish, and evil.
Do you place more value in what is privately held or what is publicly shared?
Lord, you do not invite us to indulge in private living but in extravagant sharing. You call us to a way of living that is generous and communal. You encourage us to be more like You, offering what we have to others so that no one is ever in need. What a remarkable way of life you call us to! In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.