A Treasure Worth Sacrificing For

Sacrifice.

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.

Yesterday: Simplify

Tomorrow: Serve

3 thoughts on “A Treasure Worth Sacrificing For

  1. Anita,

    I have a lot of respect for you and your writing. But if I may, I would like to gently challenge something you’ve said in this post. You write that buying clothes for a month is not a sacrifice, yet you further define sacrifice and give a few examples (i.e living away from home). Whilst personally I would agree with you in that not buying clothes for a month is not a sacrifice, I would add “for me.” Because for me, it really is not a sacrifice. Heck, I could go for over a year and not buy clothes!! However, if you put into the picture that this may come from a young girl perhaps, that all she does is clothes shopping, every week or even several times a week (I do know a few of these girls), for them, this may in fact be a huge sacrifice. Whilst it has little spiritual importance, I would still consider it a sacrifice.

    For you, living away from your family in a different country may be a huge sacrifice. Yet, I who hardly has a family, may scoff this and say “That’s not a sacrifice” because for me personally, it well may not be. But that will not make it any less of a sacrifice for you.

    My point is that what is sacrifice to one person, may not be for another.

    Do you understand my point?

    Have I misread or misinterpreted your post?

    • You have a point in that we value things in different ways.
      My point is that affluence is such a part of our lives that we don’t recognize it. We should be ashamed of how we weep over things that aren’t important, and I’m saying that for us rich people, doing without buying clothes even for a month is NOT a sacrifice. They may miss shopping, yes, but in the scheme of the Kingdom that Jesus is calling us to, not buying clothes for a month is not even on the register of sacrifice.
      I want to invite us toward weeping over what makes Jesus weep, and rejoicing over what makes Him rejoice. When He didn’t even have a pillow for His head, we really need to re-think how we tightly or loosely we hold our possessions.

  2. Thanks for speaking on these subjects. Simplify, sacrifice, and serve.. these do not come naturally to me, a daughter of Eve. I need the reminders and wake-up calls. -LRM

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