“I guess that’s just part of loving people: You have to give things up. Sometimes you even have to give them up.”
— LAUREN OLIVER
We know the cost of sacrifice only at the time we make it. It makes us raw and it stretches us emotionally. Having given something up that I’d wanted for weeks—an opportunity for fun, connection and masculine fulfilment—for something of eternal value and relevance—to spend time with a daughter—time I won’t ever get back—I know the precipice of choice. And it’s not only myself I disappoint; I feel I’ve let the team down. But that’s how it is with sacrifice.
Sacrifice, in the truest sense, is messy and uncomfortable; not to mention often regretful. But the test of maturity comes because of sacrifice; not because we thought about sacrificing, but because we actually did something sacrificial.
We don’t (or shouldn’t) sacrifice for any other reason than it’s God’s will, but so often we sacrifice for the wrong reasons and this explicates our regret.
But we can’t achieve much without sacrifice.
Bearing the cost of the sacrifice is where the point of difference is made; where we go beyond the threshold of the status quo we are free to blaze a new trail.
To Focus on Cost or Benefit
To all sacrifices is both cost and benefit.
We cannot have it all ways. Most of us accept that carte blanche. So we choose. We either take the opportunity presented, making a beeline for the discomfort-laced reward, or that thing God wills us to do, or we leave the opportunity even as it is presented.
We can focus on the cost of doing what is sacrificial or on the cost of not doing it. Alternatively, there is the reality of the benefit of either action.
What drives our sacrifice is nothing if it’s not driven by the will of God.
If we act by ways of God’s will we make a sacrifice worthy of the cost and replete in its benefit (usually a spiritual benefit).
The will of God we cherish and honour if we are called as sons and daughters of the Living God. The will of God in our lives as we discern it often inspires us to act in sacrificial ways. When we obey the will of God by doing it, we reveal the underpinning value in our sacrifice by the benefits that most far outweigh the costs.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.