What I want is you!
2Cor. 12:14 ¶ Here I am, ready to come to you this third time. And I will not be a burden, because I do not want what is yours but you; for children ought not to lay up for their parents, but parents for their children.
There were some who were becoming wealthy by preaching the gospel. They were a burden on the churches where they served and expected the people to care for them in lavish ways.
Paul loved the people in the church as his own spiritual children. As his spiritual children his desire was for their spiritual welfare, not his own material gain. His statement is powerful, “I do not want what is yours but you.” He wants to be with his dearly beloved children, fellowship with them and bring them into a deeper relationship with Christ.
He is their spiritual parent, and just as earthly parents do not expect young children to support them, so he does not expect his young believers to support him. He is to be there for their growth and development. His desires have nothing to do with earthly gain. He loves his children, wants to fellowship with them, disciple them and know that they are following the Lord.
“What I want is you!” How often is this the message that is sent by those in spiritual leadership?
I’m afraid that some of the difficulty that Christianity faces these days is the fact that this is not the message! I am appalled at some of the wealth that has been accumulated by those who are preaching the word. We have all heard those television appeals for more money and it becomes the spiritual children who have been supporting the parent. Paul said it should not be this way!
But let me take this a step further and maybe a little more personal. Let me translate this verse into our context:
I am not going to be a burden at church and insist that everything happens in the way that I like to have it done. I don’t want it to be about me, but rather, what I want is you. I want you to be at church and learning about the Lord and worshiping him, and if that’s the case, I’m willing to do whatever it takes for you to experience Christ. You see, it’s not important for the older generation to have church the way they we it, because we are spiritual parents to the younger ones. Just as I loved caring for and nurturing my children as they grew up in my home, so I want to do everything I can to provide for the spiritual care and nurture of my spiritual children. All I want is for you to know Christ!
If this were truly the heartbeat of our congregations, things would change! Paul was not selfish but willing to give himself up for those whom he loved. He made it clear that things were not important to him and he wanted to be with and nurture the Corinthians. To truly love others we will give sacrificially for them to know Christ and our response will be the same as Paul, “What I want is you!”
Lord, please help me to love sacrificially. Amen.