Humans can be just as territorial. In the writing industry, for example, I've come across those who are generous with their knowledge, helpful in promoting others, and eager to share opportunities. These authors are just as busy and just as "thirsty" for success as the rest of us "hummingbirds" that are working in the field of writing, yet they send out a chatter to gather others around their supply. However, not all human hummingbirds are equal. While some are so helpful, others expend their energy defending their space. These are fearful of encroachment. "What if there's not enough to go around?" they fret. At first glance, they're wondrous to behold with success to be lauded, but their feeder is heavily guarded. Their chatter is one of warning. "Keep away! Mine!"
This same mentality is reflected in businesses, in neighborhoods, and alas, in churches. People tend to be one way or the other. Aiding and supportive-others focused--or protective and defensive of what's theirs, be it gifting, time, energy, knowledge, or means. Like hummingbirds, at first glance, anyone can inspire. A selfish singer may have a lovely voice. A financial guru may work magic with numbers. A stay-at-home mom may be an awesome parent. But what is revealed upon closer inspection?
While non-Christians can be among the selfless, I am discovering that those who experience wholeness in their spiritual faith understand that there is an endless supply, a Source to replenish what is freely given. They "get it" that no one can do their exact job or receive their personal promotion that God intended, so they aren't afraid of someone else's success. In fact, they can celebrate it. They grasp the ultimate truth that only in sharing will they know the fullness of multiplication. As a result, they experience joy in the process. People who give, get more in order to give more. People who reach out are ministered to in like manner. People who extend help receive help. They collect a harvest from what they have sown.
Things we possess--abilities, successes, resources, connections--are not ours anyway. They belong to Heaven's generous Gift Giver. Like hummingbirds, we can inspire most fully when we leave the perch of self-protection and share what God has supplied to us.
Tip/Tidbit: Let's purpose to put our energy toward inviting others into our territory rather than into defending what is ours. What do you have that you can share? A skill? An opportunity that others may find beneficial as well? A recommendation? An investment of time or money? How can you share YOU with others today?