November 6, 2016

Sacrifice: Giving up Something Good for Something Better



“Sacrifice” is kind of a harsh term. It calls to mind pain, suffering, or deprivation.

  • Ancient religions often killed animals to offer to their god, or gods.
  • Some people may give up or postpone a successful career to get married and start a family.
  • Religious individuals devote free time to attending meetings and fulfilling other duties.

The examples above only paint one picture of sacrifice: lack. The word is a little more complicated than that. Online dictionaries define sacrifice as giving up something you want for someone else—or for God.

Let’s turn that around…When we give up something for someone, we are often repaid in joy, satisfaction, or any number of ways.

How my Sacrifices Brought Blessings

Sacrifice—Stayed at home and raised my kids.  I didn’t start working part time until they had both started school. In addition, I substitute taught so that I could be home at the same time as them.
Blessing—Had time to prepare my kids for their studies--and for their future.
Sacrifice—Gave up decades of my life to perfecting my piano skills.
Blessing—More skilled on the piano. I play at my workplace, too.
Sacrifice—Spent 10 hours per week volunteering at an adult-care facility last summer.  
Blessing—Offered a full-time job in that same establishment.

The Benefits of Giving Time to Others

Time is precious, isn’t it? Most of us never seem to have enough of it. We take on so many different responsibilities. This means some of them may get neglected. It’s hard, these days to find enough time to devote to books, phone calls, and complicated meals.


On the other hand, if we spend time with people, our lives can be enriched. One of the residents at my workplace was a back-up singer for Frank Sinatra.  Another person was an admiral on a warship during the Korean War. Every resident has an interesting story to tell.

I always love learning .The time I devote to these individuals is repaid with acquiring fun facts and personal pieces of history.

Please enjoy this heartwarming article about a young girl, her mother, and an elderly gentleman they met. They each received joy and healing when they shared their lives for a few moments:
  • The young girl made a new friend with whom to celebrate her birthday.
  • The mother was flattered when the man asked if she was a model.
  • The elderly man received love to help heal the ache of the recent loss of his wife.

Conclusion

Most of us don’t have time to spare. However, any interval we devote to other people, or to hobbies, will be rewarded. The benefits can include new friends, education, and joy. All three of those commodities are worth giving up a few moments of time, aren’t they?

“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”—Hebrews 13:16 (NIV)

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What blessings have come out of your sacrifices?