In a book that greatly influenced me "Love is the Killer app" by Tim Sanders talked quite a bit about sharing.
Jesus spoke of sharing quite a bit also saying things like "if you have two coats give one to the poor" (Luke 3:11). It is easy to quantify giving away money or material items but what about intangible things like a network of people?
Being a networker by nature- I realize how much work and time goes into connecting with people. How much time goes into lunches, coffee, emails, phone calls, and the personal investment put into each relationship. Each relationship is something that is built on trust. I was in meeting a few months ago and the guy I was meeting with said something to the effect of "I want to meet more of your friends because nice guys usually don't introduce me to jerks."
A network of influence can take quite a bit of time building up, but very easily can be ruined in an instant. So it something many hold close to the vest and don't want to share it with others.
A persons network can help find one better jobs, greater opportunities, better board members for non-profits,more chance of success with ideas, or success in fund raising to name a few.
So it is understandable why so many do not share this relationships with others.
Why should I share my network? For me my network belongs to God just as any tangible item does. I feel that I am to be generous with my other items, why would this be any different?
What does sharing look like? Every day we have opportunities to help others by giving names, email address, or numbers of those who could of help. If we know of a car mechanic that does great work for cheap- why wouldn't we share? Because if they are busy working on another car we won't be able to have ours worked on, or if they get to busy they will start charging more, or stop doing my car for a cheaper price.
All of those answers have me as the focal point, and it has a mentality of "scarcity" as Tim Sanders put it. Scarcity is the worry that there won't be enough for me. There will be a shortage, or I will lose out. That could be the same mentality for a donor, a great volunteer, or a great friend- what happens if they like the new thing better and leave me?
There are so many opportunities to get burned with this philosophy. There are so many chances that we will lose what we believe we deserve. There will be those situations were that does happen. But just because we got burned does that still mean that we don't do it?
I really wish my faith was based on Karma- I could say that as we share than others will share with us and it comes back bigger and better than what we first had. Could that happen? Sure Could we be worse off because we shared? That is also a distinct possibility. It is very difficult in my life to do right even if it is going to effect me badly.
But having a generous and giving heart needs to be part of my whole life including this area that could lead to difficulty.