Sacrifice: something given up or lost. Yet, when we sacrifice, we seem to gain something! The satisfaction and joy of watching our children become wonderful citizens and happy people is wonder and awe. It’s the common good that is the reward. Seeing others enjoy life more fully as a result of our sacrifice makes it all worth it. Giving up of our time, talents, and treasures is not something to be done in vain or for the sake of being nice. The ultimate goal is to gain something greater than that which was sacrificed. We don’t sacrifice for selfish reasons. It’s the greater good we can find satisfaction in. It’s our saying “no” to self that provides a bigger “yes” to others. When I give of my time to help one of my children I gain greater respect as a father and discover a deeper love between us.
Helping our kids to understand this deeper level of sacrifice can help them to do things, not because we said that they ought to, but because they will gain happiness in their relationships with others and greater success in their lives. Goodness should be the goal of sacrifice – not affliction. True sacrifice is never pointless. A sacrificial person should expect to gain in the end at the expense of self to the wealth of all.
Appropriately, this week is Teacher Appreciation Week and this Sunday is Mother’s Day–two of the most sacrificial people in our lives! I think it should be a week of celebration for both of these people!
“In this world it is not what we take up, but what we give up, that makes us rich.” – Henry Ward Beecher
Here are a few ways we can sacrifice and win:
- Heart – let someone go first.
- Mind – give up some play time to practice an academic skill.
- Body – help a family member with a chore that isn’t your own.
- Soul – consider how your personal talents make you special to our community.