Recently, I have been thinking about this topic of sacrifice. This is due to the current economic situation and also when I look into Scripture. The one thing that I would like to emphasize in these matters is that a sacrifice is not a simple giving away of excess. It is not taking that which you have plenty of and giving that away to help out your neighbor. That is closer to a gift. A gift is not always a sacrifice. In fact in many instances, Scripturally, we find that we are to give up that which we hold the most dear.
We see the sacrifice of the fattened lamb, the near sacrifice of a child, the sacrifice of the Lord’s son, in Jesus himself. The key thing to all of this is that it is something that was valuable to the person. It is not enough to simply give something up and then call it sacrifice. It is for this reason that I think many in the church and in the world, do not actually understand the concept of sacrifice. I think that most people hear sacrifice and think monetary donation.
The truth is sacrifice is to give up something that is of value. If you make millions of dollars a year and give away millions, your lifestyle really does not have to change. There is no pain that you feel in giving that away. Money is not something that you have a limited amount of per se. That is not to say that people do not sacrifice money, but in order for it to be a true sacrifice, there has to be a giving up of more than simply money. The sacrifice will cause one to change the manner in which they live their life (even if it is only until the next paycheck).
The reason that I bring most of this up is in the idea of being the Body of Christ, the Church we are called to be living sacrifices. That means that we are called to die to ourselves and become one with Christ. What does that really mean? It means that we have to give something up of value, in fact, we must give it ALL up for the sake of Christ. We are not called to change, one aspect of our life and give that to Christ. We cannot walk around saying, Lord, I will give you Sunday, but let me keep Saturday. We cannot even barter to say we will give you 4 days, but let me have 3. We cannot say that if you let me accept homosexuality as OK, then I will be against abortion. That is not the sacrifice that the Lord is looking for. We are called to sacrifice all. That includes our schedules, our money, our place as number 1, our hearts and our minds, ALL means ALL!