During Lent, many people choose to give something up for the six-week period leading up to Easter. It can be chocolate, or coffee, or meat – any of life’s little luxuries seem to be the “sacrifice” that is usually made.
The problem that creeps in is that we go about thinking up sacrifices we can make, and the process can become a mistaken attempt to try to be more “holy”.
We tend to forget that the true goal should be to create an atmosphere within or around ourselves that will allow seeking God, spending time in prayer, or simply contemplating God’s goodness, to have more space in our lives.
Spending time reflecting on the sacrifice and selflessness of Jesus, and whether or not we ourselves are living lives that reflect Him, could be a valuable exercise during the Lenten season.
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 (ESV)
Jesus’ sacrifice was driven by His love for us.
We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16 (NLT)
In 1 Corinthians, Paul talks about putting other’s best interests above your own.
Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others. 1 Cor. 10:24 (NLT)
These are just a few of the Bible verses pertaining to sacrifice and selflessness.
Now, lest we feel completely disqualified from engaging with this topic, let us remember that as we seek to live our lives with Jesus, He will take us on a journey of discovering more and more what it means to live a life that is “other-centred”, or as a wise person once put it, “Jesus-focused”.
The beauty of trying each day to remain Jesus-focused is that He uses that discipline to change us, bit by bit, into someone who begins to reflect His character.
And the sacrifice of laying down one’s own needs or desires in order to put others first, ceases to be a sacrifice and becomes instead a joy as we catch glimpses of God at work.
“It is wonderful what miracles God works in wills that are utterly surrendered to Him. He turns hard things into easy and bitter things into sweet. It is not that He puts easy things in the place of the hard, but He actually changes the hard thing into an easy one.” – Hannah Whitall Smith
Donor Care Administrator