The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines sacrifice as follows:
1) an act of offering to a deity something precious; especially the killing of a victim on an altar
2) something offered in sacrifice
3) destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else
4) something given up or lost
I recently received a newsletter from one of our former employees; Michelle Heshka. As I read the newsletter two things became apparent to me. One, I live a good life here in Canada, and two, I could be spending my money a little better than I do. She talked about sacrifice and what that looked like to her. And as I sat back and pondered her words, I found myself being challenged as to what I could sacrifice, and for whom! After all, it was only two weeks ago that Nancy (my wife) had also challenged me on my desire for ‘shiny things’ and the amount of time I was spending with my hobbies.
Here’s a part of Michelle’s newsletter.
“I’ve been thinking a lot about sacrifice and what exactly that means to me. The more I think about it, the more I think that we have really lost the true definition of the word. In fact, I think it no longer exists. We’ve replaced our needs with our wants. We are in this constant cycle of consumerism and it has warped our mindset. Sacrifice should mean pain, or at least, discomfort, for the better of something or someone else.
But we live in this world where our minds tell us that we need to be happy, that we deserve to be happy, and have everything we’ve ever dreamed of having. It goes as far as to diminish others’ abilities by stepping over people with a selfishness and pride that is so deep rooted in us that we perceive it as self-confidence. This has challenged me on how I spend my money, my time and my energy. We’ve all heard that “It’s better to give than to receive”, which many would agree with, but I guess I just want to take that one step further and say that it’s more about self-sacrifice than giving alone. Take for instance the widow in Mark 12. She gave very little but she gave all she had, and to Jesus that meant more than the rich who gave much. She sacrificed all she had to honour God. Isn’t that a powerful statement? Luke 12:48b says: From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. I believe I’ve been given much, how about you?”
Michelle was part of our Mission Team for a number of years. She worked as a Shift Supervisor in our women’s addiction program and then as part of our Marketing & Development Department. Today, she attends All Nations Christian College in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, where she continues to use her video and film skills in a variety of ways not only in England, but Germany as well. We still miss her here! In closing, please continue to pray for her, for her financial support, and for clear direction for her when she finishes.
P.S. In the end I decided to not buy any more gems for my Clash of Clans game, and to not play it as much. I’m also not buying any more spoons and lures till the ‘unopened’ packages in my tackle box have been used. Instead, I’m putting aside $25 – $40 every month for a year, so that at the end of this year Nancy & I can give Domy (our first sponsored Compassion child) and her family a nice year end gift.
As Michelle said, how about you?