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A Love Question: What Do You Really Want?

The question shows up again and again. Each time I see it, I scratch my head a bit. Did Jesus really ask that so often? It doesn’t seem very spiritual. And yet throughout the gospels Jesus lovingly poses this question: “What do you want?” {Matt. 20:32, Mark 10:36, Mark 10:51, Luke 18:41}.

He even asks this question of a blind man. I find this interesting because the answer seems so obvious. Jesus doesn’t just say, “I see you’re blind. Let me fix that for you. I know just what you need.” Instead he takes the time to ask, to listen, to uncover the true desire of the heart behind the request.

I often forget to ask the question Jesus did: “What do you want?” I see someone hurting and I rush in to fix it. I make assumptions about what’s needed and then I do what I think is best. (Jesus never asked what was needed, only what was wanted. Huh.) I tell myself all I’m doing is out of love or compassion but perhaps sometimes it’s more about pride. I think I have the solution. I want to that person to feel grateful to me. I want to feel significant.

Jesus can ask the question, “What do you want?” because he’s not wrestling with insecurity. He’s not worried the answer may make him look bad. He’s not trying to rush on to the next thing on his schedule.

What if we slowed down and spoke differently? What if in our families, our friendship, our tweets and our status updates we lovingly asked, “What do you want?” And when people told us, we really listened?

“What do you want?” is a love question. It gets to the heart of what matters most to someone. It tells us where their dreams, desires and hopes lie. It shows them they really matter to us. (And by the way, it’s okay to ask ourselves this question, too.)

As we ask, it’s important to remember this too…Jesus gave the blind man his sight but he didn’t always say “yes” to every request. Two of the disciples asked for places of high honor in heaven and Jesus replied, “You don’t know what you’re asking.” This led to a conversation about their hearts and what God really had in mind. The purpose of asking, “What do you want?” isn’t about a result but a relationship.

“What do you want?”

It’s a simple, powerful question that opens the door to hearts.

And love is the key.

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