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Generosity in Action

by | May 24, 2024

When we share that Matt and Robyn Roberts, and their business, Riverside Homes, are generous supporters of Rethreaded, you may assume that giving comes naturally to them. While Matt would say that is true for his wife, Robyn, and for their business partners, the Woods family (1:09:55), that hasn’t always been true for him. 

In Rethreading Lives episode 5, we discussed the journey to where the Roberts family is today, which is that they “give until it hurts.” Here are the highlights of how they got here and how generosity has enriched their lives. 

Becoming a happy giver 

By nature, Matt is a frugal person and, on his own, giving used to be hard (40:00). In order to be obedient to what he and Robyn know to be right, they have created a system for accountability that has made it a lot easier for him to become a cheerful giver.  

They have decided to intentionally set aside a specific percentage of their income and immediately put it into a separate account (41:00). Because it’s already there, and it has been designated for that purpose, it’s much easier for him to be excited to give it away to their church, friends in need, and organizations like Rethreaded. 

Importantly, this also means they don’t give after their obligations have been met. Because they believe they should not give God the excess (42:10), they give first and then adjust the rest of their finances around what’s left. This is where the “give until it hurts” comes in. They have learned to live on less so they can give more. 

Generosity prepares us for feasts and for fallow 

During the recession, prior to the start of Riverside Homes, Matt went through a lot of vocational uncertainty and frustration, which he realized came from his desire for material things (1:04:34). It was in that moment of self-reflection that he surrendered and asked God to take those desires away. God answered his prayer and made him content with what he had.  

Years later, when the opportunity came to start Riverside Homes, his heart was mature enough to take it (1:07:00). Had the opportunity come before, when he was focused on material things, he would not have been able to handle it. Because of his baseline contentment, he has been able to weather both seasons of uncertainty and of prosperity.  

His healthy detachment from material things has also meant that Matt and Robyn have continued to be generous givers, even through the significant uncertainty of the pandemic. They have consistently sponsored our birthday parties, offering matching gifts that have inspired others to give radically and generously too. 

Living as stewards 

To apply lessons learned from Matt and Robyn to our own lives, we can start by adopting their stewardship-focused mindset (12:50). They believe they are called to be managers and stewards, rather than owners, of what they have.  

This takes away the pressure to live a certain lifestyle, relieves the stress that comes with life’s inevitable ups and downs, secures our contentment on a foundation that’s deeper than our bank accounts, and opens us up to the joy that comes with giving richly. 

You can listen to the full podcast to learn more or, to walk in their footsteps, support Rethreaded’s work in the lives of survivors of human trafficking. Every day, we see the fruits from the generosity of people like Matt, Robyn, and you. Together, we can joyfully give more survivors the opportunity to live renewed and abundant lives.

 

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