So often we hear how important it is to take care of ourselves, give ourselves good things, and believe in ourselves.
All of this is true, and very important, because if we do not love ourselves, how can we truly love and be giving to others?
However, my philosophy is that giving to others is a very important part of life.
Taking care of people, sacrificing for them, and giving of ourselves, are all vital aspects of enhancing important relationships with family and friends, and for a sense of well-being.
Sacrifice is not a dirty word! When you give, do so from a well informed place of sincere intention.
Know why you are doing what you are doing, giving what you are giving, and sacrificing what you are sacrificing. Do not expect anything in return. And watch how the JOY enters your life.
It’s true — a large part of the Christian experience is about sacrifice. You find it all through the Gospels — people making sacrifices related to their riches, their families, their prestige, and in many cases their lives.
That seems to be what Jesus was getting at when He said:
“If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it,” Luke 9:23-24.
Following Christ even involves loss. Jesus doesn’t deny that fact. But this passage isn’t really about loss; it’s about gain.
Loss is simply the means we must walk through to get to the gain. In the end, Jesus isn’t saying, “Lose your life.” He’s saying, “Save your life! Please, save your life! Loss is only the means to gain.”
There’s joy that comes from that fact!
We can live confidently knowing that when Jesus asks for sacrifice, He replaces whatever has been sacrificed with something better. And that truth not only makes us confident in God’s plan for our lives; it enables us to move forward in our walk with Him with focused intensity and fresh zeal.
We can live a life filled with joy and hope for what’s ahead, rather than bitterness over what we’re leaving behind.
In His Shadow,
~ Mary Lindow ©
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Mary Lindow has a passion for encouraging others – all generations, careers or vocations to live expressing excellence through personal integrity, healthy accountability, and wise management of talents and skills. She’s a sought after keynote, inspirational, humorous speaker and teacher across the USA and internationally in Ministers & Spiritual leaders Conferences, and training seminars for various organizations.