Knowledge, inspiration, and encouragement from a Christian perspective is my goal. I post a weekly commentary, which could be about world events or the events of my week. Other days I might share stories, recipes, homemaking tips, book reviews, political talk, biblical truth, or other blogs and websites I like. This blog is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
THE PRINCIPLE OF SACRIFICE
As I sat down to read today, two profound truths practically jumped off the pages of a book I'm reading, Angels At Your Service. The first: "The blessings of God will forever escape you if you murmur and complain." The second: "Your purpose in life isn't to meet your own needs. Your purpose is to be a tool in the hand of God to meet somebody else's need."
These truths hit home with me because I've been doing a lot of grouching about the hassles of life. I recently sent an e-mail to my sister complaining about being stuck inside all week and doing nothing but serving people and cleaning messes. My daughter has a bad case of poison and I've been drawing baths, applying ointments, and bringing her whatever she needs to be comfortable, mostly mac and cheese and mashed potatoes.
"I want someone to serve me." I said in the e-mail. Well it only took a day for God to set me straight. My resources of time, ability, and money are not to be squandered on my own agenda the book claims. They are to be used as a resource to meet someone else's need. When I sacrifice myself for the needs of others, only then will God move someone to meet my needs.
In other words, I must do two things before I can expect to receive any blessings: I must stop murmuring and complaining, and I must develop a servant's attitude and find joy in serving others. Even a prayer that is rooted in selfishness will never be answered. We must always be conscious of other people's needs.
The best example of this truth is the book of Job, who complains about his miserable circumstances for an entire 40 chapters. Then when Job prays for his friends, he receives an answer to his own prayers. First he stopped complaining and then he focused on the needs of others, and in that instant God delivered him and gave him twice the prosperity he had before.
What would your workplace be like if everyone took on a servant's attitude? What would your family be like if every member had a heart to meet not their own needs but the needs of other family members? Even leaders, managers, and supervisors are to be servants to their workers. Although some of them missed that memo, it seems. But the greatest leaders are those who are willing to sacrifice.
No project, business, or family can succeed without sacrifice. To accomplish anything, someone must be willing to give. As a mother, if all I think about is what I can get for myself, how will my family flourish? Everything that's accomplished comes from the sacrifice of a willing servant.
Some days it seems that all we do as women is serve, give, and sacrifice, but there are rewards to this that we don't always realize: we receive answers to our own prayers when we're willing to serve. God sees that we serve with a joyful heart and no complaints and he then moves others to fulfill our own wants and needs.
The entire scope of life runs on the principle of sacrifice. And only those who are willing to give without complaining receive the blessings God wants to give them. Until that truth sinks in and becomes a permanent part of my thinking, I'll continue to wander around in the wilderness, frustrated and deprived of life's joy and peace.