As Americans, what do we truly know about sacrifice? Even the poorest among us seem rich when compared with the rest of the world. Even now, with our economy in shambles and our household struggling to maintain lower middle class standing-we don’t really know about sacrifice.
Dictionary.com defines sacrifice this way:
sac·ri·fice [sak-ruh-fahys] noun, verb, sac·ri·ficed, sac·ri·fic·ing.
1. the offering of animal, plant, or human life or of some material possession to a deity, as in propitiation or homage.
2. the person, animal, or thing so offered.
3. the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.
4. the thing so surrendered or devoted.
5. a loss incurred in selling something below its value.
6. Also called sacrifice bunt, sacrifice hit. Baseball. a bunt made when there are fewer than two players out, not resulting in a double play, that advances the base runner nearest home without an error being committed if there is an attempt to put the runner out, and that results in either the batter’s being put out at first base, reaching first on an error made in the attempt for the put-out, or being safe because of an attempt to put out another runner.
verb (used with object)
7. to make a sacrifice or offering of.
8. to surrender or give up, or permit injury or disadvantage to, for the sake of something else.
9. to dispose of (goods, property, etc.) regardless of profit.
10. Baseball. to cause the advance of (a base runner) by a sacrifice.
verb (used without object)
11. Baseball. to make a sacrifice: He sacrificed with two on and none out.
12. to offer or make a sacrifice.
Looking at those 12 definitions, we can omit the ones about baseball for the purpose of this post and see how the rest of them fit together to show us how sacrifice implies value.
Sacrificing for Education
Often in third world countries families can’t afford to send their children to school for one of two reasons, either they can’t pay for their education or they need the child to be at home to work and add to the family income in some way. Often families choose one child to attend school for the family. This is sacrifice on two fronts. The family is sacrificing the education of the other children for the benefit of this one and they are sacrificing the immediate earning potential of the child going to school in hopes of increased earning potential in the future. Parents shouldn’t have to choose which child can get an education.
Sacrificing for Others
When we finally said No More Excuses and decided to sponsor a child through Compassion International we had to make some adjustments in our budget because there wasn’t an extra $38 a month lying around. Even for us, this wasn’t a huge sacrifice but I did give up something I liked…and was blessed when I found a less expensive option that I loved! Three days a week, when I am out and about in the morning I enjoyed stopping at McDonalds for hot cocoa, I am not a coffee drinker and cocoa is my warm beverage of choice. The average cost was $1.50 a day x 3 days a week=$4.50×4 weeks=$19 a month on cocoa. I was introduced to Land O Lakes French Vanilla Hot Cocoa that I can make at home for only $0.50 a day so I instantly saved $12 a month to put towards our sponsored child. That left us needing $26 more a month. That was easy…we cut back on going out to eat on Sundays! We eat lunch at home every Sunday instead of going out after church. This was a difficult change at first but now it is our new normal and we are able to send our $38 to help Aderlin with his needs in the Dominican Republic and sacrificing expensive hot cocoa and a meal at a restaurant is worth it when the investment is in the life of another human being!
To Obey is Better Than Sacrifice
1 Samuel 15:22 New Living Translation (NLT)
22 But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice?
Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.
The Lord wants our obedience more than our sacrifice. This is where the heart issue comes in. Many of us can easily sponsor a child, or two, or three and just write that check to clear our conscience. God wants our obedience to be motivated by our love for Him, a longing to please Him and obey His Word. Over and over God’s Word tells us to care for the poor and the needy and He wants-expects our obedience.
One way to be obedient is to sponsor a child through Compassion International. Our goal is to have 3,160 new children sponsored this month. If you are ready to be obedient and step out in faith, click the link above and find your Compassion child!
Disclosure: I have written this post as a part of the Compassion Blogger Network. I receive no compensation for this post. I do have a chance at winning gifts for my Compassion child and his family. All opinions are 100% mine.