How Sacrifice Makes Us Better
Twenty-eight years ago I took a vow. As I stood at the altar I married the love of my life. I had no idea what it would take to build a life that we loved. Like many married couples, Brady and I have seen a lot of changes.
And yet, some things stay the same.
Brady makes a budget and I tend to blow it. I like to cook and he makes a mean bowl of cereal. I like to be punctual. Brady tends to be less punctual. Some days our differences challenge us. But most days our differences make us better.
Becoming better doesn’t happen by accident. Whether it is in marriage or a different arena, sacrifice becomes key as we seek to become better. And yet, the improvement process becomes difficult when discomfort enters the picture.
Whatever helps the process needs maintenance; whatever hinders the process needs revision or removal. But what do you do when the hindrances are within you? Sometimes I look for ways to work around my difficulty. Denial helps me hide it. Pride lets me keep it.
But being married continually teaches me the importance of sacrifice. It is how we show value for who and what we love. I started out as a newlywed adjusting to the military lifestyle. I developed into a career-minded professional who turned into a caregiver for Brady’s grandmother and aunt.
Now I’m a mellowed out wife and mom writing my heart out and working part-time. I continue to learn how to adapt and to give through the grace of God. Thankfully, Brady does the same.
Regardless of our marital status, chances are we are bound to something or someone. When a cause or a mission grips the heart; the call to sacrifice grips the soul. We offer our time, resources, and ultimately, ourselves to see our priorities prosper. We sacrifice when we love the one the sacrifice is offered to more than what it cost us to give it.
After a Bible study many years ago, a woman walked up to me and said, “This dying to self is killing me!” I laughed at the irony but inside I grimaced at the truth. Any offering of significance will cost the giver significantly.
We can choose to lose ourselves on the altar of our choosing. But only one altar allows me to find my life when I lay it down. (Matthew 16:24-26)
As a Christ-follower, His sacrifice compels me to give myself to God for His life-giving purposes. And when I do I find the God-intended me. Hindrances that were hidden by denial step into the light of His truth. The walls of selfishness and pride come down and I can freely serve others.
If you want to be better but at some point settled for worse, here’s some good news: sacrifice makes us better when what we sacrifice pleases God. Thankfully, Jesus did it completely and He did it for you and me. (Romans 3:25-26)
Through faith in Him, we can live a life that pleases God too. The process will make us better and the results will bring Him glory. Just knowing either is possible brings hope to the heart and joy to the soul.
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.” – Romans 12:1 (The Message)