What’s your personal sacrifice threshold for those you love?
Have you ever thought there might be a limit, or does the willingness to sacrifice what you prefer to what the other person wants or needs show no bounds?
And by sacrifice, I’m talking about healthy demonstrations of love, not allowances for destructive behaviors.
I’m also referring to sincere motives where the love and care for the other person are so deep that you are fulfilled by taking care of the other person in some way or by giving up something in order to bring happiness to him or her.
True sacrifice out of love is not rooted in unhealthy and selfish motives of trying to impress the other person to earn his or her attention in return.
It’s really not about getting anything at all in return. It’s about giving — giving of yourself in a way that enhances the other person.
But the reality is, it does hurt when our sacrifices are taken for granted or expected rather than fully appreciated.
In the moments when I find myself a little discouraged in this area, I only have to think of the ultimate sacrifice made for all of us by Jesus Christ when He died on Calvary’s cross to make a way for us to know Him personally and spend eternity with Him in heaven.
Of course, we know He rose from the grave to ascend into heaven, but how sad it must make Him to experience us, on a daily basis, taking His sacrifice for granted and so often too busy to know Him better.
And how devastating it must be for His sacrifice to actually be rejected by some who decide they don’t need Him.
Still, are those of us who believe, follow and call ourselves disciples of Jesus Christ doing everything we can each day to make sure the people in our lives understand the sacrifice and infinitely deep love of the Savior?
Do we sacrifice in any way for Him as we go about our daily lives? If we do, then what does that look like?
Is it time? Is it money? Is it possessions?
Maybe it means we give up something we prefer doing in order to be present for another.
Maybe it means digging in deep with a needed discipline that can truly be difficult.
Maybe it means prioritizing life a little better or even not doing something in order to remove unnecessary pressures.
Whatever it might be, we can only determine the true sacrifice needed from us by spending time with Jesus. He will make it clear if we take the time to listen.
And the same goes for the loved ones in our lives — all we need are hearing ears and a willing heart.
Truly getting to know the other person, listening to what he or she says and doesn’t say, learning his or her heart at the deepest level, watching your loved one in action — these are the ways to know how to sacrificially love.