Friday, July 25, 2014

Sacrificial Living

There I was in the midst of another free time. Campers gearing up for water sports or the pool. “I don’t want to sit at the pool again,” I thought. “It’s too cold to go in the pool,” I thought. As I stood in the sun, watching the CIAs and the campers get ready to walk, I remembered that I wasn’t there for myself. I was there for others. I was there for Jesus' glory and the campers' fun, and the CIAs' encouragement and help. "Where am I needed?" I asked as I changed my tune as I had done countless times before.

During my week at Camp Barnabas on the Lake, I found when I was faced with my own desires I almost instantly found myself redirecting towards others’ needs. Even in my free time I was thinking about what I could do to support the CIAs (Christian In Action, the teens and adults who were one-on-one with the campers), or trying to find enough service to post to our church’s Facebook or Twitter to update the church body and parents about how our trip was going.

Why can’t I do this at home? Why can’t I do this in my church body?

America has a prevalent, “Take care of #1” mentality that comes before all other concerns. I am afraid I am guilty of it. Rather than ask for help or care, I feel like it's best to just take care of myself first. However, I believe I am called to something more. A life lived sacrificially. As I was thrown into a life lived fully for others for a full five days, I discovered something.

Living life sacrificially takes buckets of trust.

You have to trust your needs will be cared for as you put others’ needs ahead of your own. You have to trust that you will be filled as you pour yourself out for those around you. You have to trust you will find rest in the midst of the busy life of looking and serving and caring. You have to trust God's strength to keep you moving. You have to trust God’s greater plan. #thelastshallbefirst But I discovered something else.

Sacrificial living is beautiful.

It's helping a busy mom with her groceries; it's asking the clerk at the store how their day is going and actually hearing their response. It's writing a note of encouragement for your neighbor, or offering to walk someone's dog. It's taking the kids for a friend so she can get some things done. It's engaging in conversation with your seat mate on the bus or train, recognizing the humanity that is around you. Start small. Sacrifice a little comfort and say hello to the stranger in line behind you. Look them in the eye and smile. It's a beautiful thing.

This post is a part of a One Word 365 community, Trusting Tuesdays! Have your own One Word? Link up to your most recent post every third Tuesday of the month!


  1. It's so hard to strike the right balance, isn't it. I spent years hooked on a fairly unhealthy form of sacrificial living and have only recently accepted that I am also someone God wants to see cherished and fulfilled. And part of the responsibility for making that happen lies with me. For my sake, for the sake of those I love and would serve and in gratitude for that part of creation which is me. Still learning!

    1. The balance is so, so vital! Phil 2:4 says "do not merely look out for your own personal interests" which means we are to look out for ourselves as well as others! Thank you for the reminder! Be blessed as you love Jesus, others, AND yourself!

  2. It does amaze me how much more sacrificial we can be when we're on a "mission" trip versus just a "regular" trip with our family, for example. Thanks for pointing out that there doesn't have to be a difference. Sacrifice is a beautiful thing!

    1. Humbling, humbling! Our family at times gets our worst. I seek God's strength and wisdom to make sure my daughter knows she is as important to me as the people in the church body as I serve the Lord at home and in the church. Thanks for stopping by!