Sacrifice is a heavy word. It’s not an easy task to do. Although any act of sacrifice is done for the sake of a loved one, it still doesn’t make it any easier to execute. WordWeb defines sacrifice as to ‘endure the loss of’, or ‘the act of losing or surrendering something as a penalty for a mistake or fault or failure to perform etc.’ Sacrifice isn’t for the fainthearted.
This brings to mind another word which is relatively easier to swallow – ‘donate’. WordWeb defines it as to ‘give to a charity or good cause’. We read and hear of people who donate generously to various causes be it money, blood and even organs. People readily donate blood and money knowing that they would be replenished. As long as the heart keeps on beating, the one pint of blood drawn would be regained. And as for money and other material things, it is a principle that givers never lack. Call it a law of nature if you like. As much as they give, they get that much and even more in return.
Organ wise, people sign up to be donors when they reach that stage where there’s no coming back; it is seen as a selfless act of handing over healthy organs to someone who might be in dire need of them instead of wasting them in the grave. This way, they keep on living in a way; in the minds of the beneficiaries. And for those that can be donated whiles one still lives, it is such that the donor can still survive when a part is taken off them. As much as donation of any form is very much needed and generous, its impact is significantly muffled compared to a sacrifice.
Think of all the lives that perished years ago in the world wars so we would live in the society we find ourselves in today. Wives were rendered widows and children turned orphans so others can have their families together. Some parents sacrifice their dreams so their wards can achieve theirs. Missionaries put their lives on the line so they can share the Good News with someone in another part of the world to come and know Christ. And the biggest sacrifice of all, the most controversial yet the most powerful one of all is the crucifixion of Christ so mankind who have all strayed would reconcile with their Heavenly Father.
A sacrifice must be valuable, would hurt and cost you but its reward far outweighs the pain. To have a good home and family, certain sacrifices have to be made. To be among the best in any field, sacrifice is a non-negotiable requirement. It’s not easy but it’s worth it.
Thus we shouldn’t take for granted those who sacrificed their lives, dreams and comfort for us in one way or the other. They did it out of love and it is only proper that we appreciate them. For anyone who truly loves, there will come a time where you have to sacrifice something dear to you. When that time arrives, don’t let selfish interest keep you for laying it down. For by sacrificing something valuable, you receive something far more valuable in return.
And to fellow Christians who are being called to be a ‘living sacrifice‘, we need to lay down any bodily pleasure that would taint the purity God expects of us. Christ sacrificed His life for us; we should also sacrifice ourselves by living for Him.
© Josephine Amoako 2016