Wants to Give

May 2, 2024

I am not what you would consider a “car guy.” I may know the model names of many cars and have a sense of brand reputation, but I wouldn’t have a clue about where to start if you asked me to repair your brakes. For me, the primary point of a car is to get you from point A to point B reliably in a comfortable manner.

However, when a friend of mine (who is a car guy) texted me about the soon-to-be-released 2023 Toyota Prius a couple years ago, I suddenly wanted to become a car guy. I rarely get excited about the appearance of a car, so I was quite surprised by my reaction. I found myself saying aloud, even though no one else was around, “I want it!”

(Now you know what you can get me for Christmas. 😉)

What do you want?

Typically, when someone asks you what you "want," they are inquiring about what you hope to receive. Whether it is the waiter asking for your dinner order, your grandma asking for Christmas gift ideas, or a rich friend asking which car they can purchase for you (even though that last one will probably never happen), they understand your "want" is about you getting something you desire.

Yet in our key passage (2 Corinthians 9:6-15) for our Being a STEWARD series, we see God flip this idea on its head. Rather than asking us what we want to receive, God invites us to want to give. In verse 7, we hear the Apostle Paul tell his readers...

"Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion..."

2 Corinthians 9:7a (ESV)

Give Without Grief

Wants To Give • Riverwood Church

The Greek word translated "reluctantly" in verse 7 can also be translated "out of grief." In other words, God doesn't want you to mourn over the “loss” of what you have given. That sort of emotional response reveals that you believed the things to be given were yours rather than God's. (Remember, a steward knows that what they are caring for isn’t actually theirs, but belongs to the true owner. This should result in the steward seeking to use the “stuff” of the master in a manner consistent with the wishes of the master.)

This is why God tells His people in Colossians 3:1-2 not to set their hearts on earthly things, but rather on the heavenly purposes of the Father. He doesn’t want your heart stuck in an emotional prison that grieves the “loss” of earthly possessions. Rather, He wants you freed to enjoy life and bring joy to the lives of others. That is why He wants you to want to give.

So if you follow Jesus, what might you need to give this week to help your heart be a little less encumbered with the things of this world?

Erin Bird Lead Pastor - Riverwood Church

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Riverwood Church, Waverly Iowa

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