“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”
- Jim Elliot
I’m thinking about sacrifice today along with Ann Voscamp and others in her community over on her page.
I am thinking about sacrifice, and this sentence comes to mind.“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” It was written, of course, by a man whose very life was taken as he served others in selfless love.
And I’m thinking about what sacrifice really means.
You see, if I lay down everything for love,
I give up what has value to me, but in return I gain what has true and lasting value beyond my dreams.
Is it sacrifice for a mother to stay home with her children, give up career and haircuts and new clothes and shiny cars and dinners out, so that she can see new human beings grow and become faithful followers of Christ?
Is it sacrifice to stay in a marriage that is difficult, give up the storybook ideals and fairy tale expectations and wait for joy through gritted teeth, if the result is learning how to love more perfectly?
Is it sacrifice to risk judgment by opening my heart and baring my soul if by so doing I find a community with shared need and shared blessing?
Everything we can possibly give up is less than we owe, and for every single thing we give up in this physical realm He blesses us in the spiritual, here and now and also eternally.
As a follower of Christ,
is it possible to sacrifice?
I don’t have an answer. I’m still working on this. I know He sacrificed for us, because He gave up heaven and perfect communion to suffer at our hands and endure a tortured death that He did not have to die. In so doing, though, He gained a body for Himself, an eternal communion with the faithful who would accept the gift of His life.
So what is sacrifice?
it’s giving up what comes easily
or doing something we don’t have to do
and acting that way
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I need to rest here a while. I’d love to hear your insights on this. Please comment or send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.