Divide With

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

Years ago kids would sell newspapers on street corners in large cities. I read about a little orphan boy who not only sold customers papers, but also gave smiles, encouragement, and a good attitude. One day a man asked the boy where he lived. He said that he lived down by the river bank in a make-shift hut. The man asked, “Who lives with you?” The boy said, “Only Jim. Jim is crippled. He can’t do no work. He’s my pal.”

The man then remarked, “Well, you’d be better off without Jim, wouldn’t you?” The 10 year-old orphan boy looked at the man and said, “No sir, I wouldn’t have nobody to go home to, and I wouldn’t have nobody to divide with.” The little boy continued, “Mister, I don’t want to work every day and live without somebody to divide with – would you?”

Somebody to divide with. That’s what makes life and work really exciting. The great joy of life comes when we divide with someone.

James Harrison lives in Australia. He is referred to as “the man with the golden arm.” You see, he has a strong dislike for needles, but he had an opportunity to divide with sick babies by giving them some of his blood. Every few weeks for the past 60 years, he has given blood to save the lives of more than 2.4 million Australian babies. Harrison’s blood contains a rare antibody capable of curing Rhesus disease, a severe form of anima affecting babies whose blood type is incompatible with that of their mother.

James is 81. He gave his last donation a few months ago because he has reached the maximum age allowed for donors in Australia. James is now on the lookout for some other way to “divide with” somebody else.

The happiest people are those who “find somebody to divide with.” Proverbs 21:25 reads “The greedy only wants to get. The Godly only wants to give.” Anne Frank reminds us that “no one has ever become poor by giving.”

What God has given us is not for hoarding – but for helping. It’s not for selfish accumulation –but for sharing abundantly with others. God’s priority for us is not “adding” to or “multiplying” wealth as much as it is “dividing” with people in need. Everybody needs somebody to divide with.

You never know what the outcome might be. Billy Graham was a student at the Florida Bible Institute. The president of Wheaton College and his brother, Elner Edman, were visiting Florida. Billy Graham caddied for them when they played golf. They had heard about his preaching. They encouraged him to attend Wheaton College. He told them that his mother had always wanted him to go there, but he could not afford it.

Elner Edman offered to pay the first year of Billy Graham’s tuition at Wheaton. It was a turning point in Graham’s life. The millions of lives Billy Graham touched is just an extension of Elner Edman’s willingness to “divide with” Billy Graham. Mathematically speaking, to financially “divide with” is a decision where “division” becomes “multiplication!”

Jim Elliot, also a graduate of Wheaton, was one of five missionaries killed while participating in Operation Auca in Ecuador in 1956. In college he wrote, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

Do you have someone to divide with?


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