Relationships + Sharing = Joy

woman eating chocolate courtesy of Huffington PostI am standing at the kitchen sink one early evening in the twilight with the faucet running.  Everyone else is in the living room watching TV or playing with their toys, so I have surreptitiously made my way into the darkened kitchen with one goal in mind:  to savor a last chocolate truffle, one that I put back in the cupboard earlier when lots of little hands were digging around in the box, ultimately finishing them off.

I learned this trick from my hairdresser.  One time when she was clipping away at my hair, she said, “Haven’t you wanted to really enjoy something good, some treat, without having to share it?”  She went on to elaborate about how she enjoyed a delicious piece of chocolate while standing at the kitchen sink, water running to cover the sound of wrappers rattling and lips smacking.

So here I am, in a long ago memory, trying to savor this last truffle by myself, and though it tastes good (I mean, REALLY good), the experience of secretly eating it is lacking something.  Joy – that’s it! More specifically, the joy of relationship that comes from sharing an experience with another.

The Father, Son, and Spirit knew this from before the foundation of the world. Because they experienced the love and joy of perfect fellowship, they desired to share it, and joy multiplies when shared.  That’s where the creation of the world and the human beings who populate it come into play.  We were created to share in their joy and their love, and consequently, share it with others in creation: human beings, plants, animals. When we dam up the flow of love by not sharing it, we lose out on a chance for joy.

Sufi master Inayat Khan (1882-1927) has said: “A person who, alone, has seen something beautiful, who has heard something harmonious, who has tasted something delicious, who has smelt something fragrant, may have enjoyed it, but not completely. The complete joy is in sharing one’s joy with others. For the selfish one who enjoys himself and does not care for others, whether he enjoys things of the earth or things of heaven, his enjoyment is not complete.”

My enjoyment of the truffle was not complete as I stood in the kitchen that night, water running.  Later I thought of this verse from Hebrews 13:16: “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (NIV). Though some might view this verse legalistically, as if giving something up was pleasing to God, in reality, God’s pleasure comes from us realizing that true joy comes from sharing and from relationship (which in my mind are almost interchangeable terms).

Relationship is what the Father, Son, and Spirit are all about, and it’s their desire to share that with us.  Sometimes we learn the hard way, like I did at the kitchen sink that night, but sooner or later, we realize that our path to joy comes from sharing in relationships.

~by Nan Kuhlman

1 comment so far


    Thanks Nan for sharing your experience. If only Christians could see the joy in sharing, and how God, the Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit shares allR with us, this world would have been a better place. Relationship has to be positive, for it to be effective.

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