Ouch. I don’t like this word.
And, like simplify, it’s a relative term. But still, what sacrifice colors your life? I’m not saying we should aim to be ascetics, but I am saying that we shouldn’t let discomfort determine our choices.
A friend recently spoke of her Sunday school teacher who was talking gravely about financial sacrifice. “Ladies, I’ve had to go a whole month without buying clothes for myself!” I want to say this as lovingly but as loudly as possible: if not buying clothes for yourself for a month is your idea of sacrifice, you have NO IDEA what sacrifice is.
If we could look into Jesus’ face when He was on the cross, and watch Him for hours like His mother did, we’d have a better idea of sacrifice. The most costly sacrifices have to do with the intangible parts of us that can’t be quantified in money or stuff. Sacrifice could mean choosing to live far away from family members. It could mean prioritizing ministry more than career. It could be sharing time with someone instead of money. It always means doing without something you value for the benefit of another.
When I heard about a young man who bought a swanky car because he said he didn’t know what else to do with his money, my first thought was, “Wow, he has a really small world.” I guess he doesn’t know that the missionaries his church supports have to seriously scrunch to make their grocery money reach every month. I guess he doesn’t know about Comeragh Wilderness Camp that pours itself out for delinquent boys and is strapped for money. And about half a million other ministries that need funds.
Then I thought about my friend who was in college and was crying because she couldn’t give as much to missions as she used to, and I know she’s a lady who knows what sacrifice is and it’s clear what kingdom she’s part of.