Love is…Sacrifice

candleLove is…sacrifice. It’s the season of love and I have been doing a lot of reflecting on what love really is. This time of the year the media tells us love is the new iPhone or some other expensive gadget. The secular world has turned Christmas into a season of stress (emotional and financial). Christmas was meant to bring peace and joy through the amazing gift we have in Christ.

Recently, I was reminded of the beauty of sacrifice, and how it expresses love in a profound way. Years ago doctors found a lump in my sister-in-laws breast. They quickly planned the removal of the lump and began preparing her and my brother for a mastectomy and cancer treatments. Doctors were certain she had cancer. The rest of us started praying.

The morning of the procedure, my sister-in-law tells my brother that everything is going to be fine. She just knows it. My brother responded by saying that doesn’t mean we stop praying. The biopsy came back negative, so no further treatment. No cancer.

A few days later, I was sitting with my sister-in-law at their kitchen table. She was sharing the experience with me. I will never forget what she said next, “If that’s what it takes to get your brother to pray, I’d do it all over again.” The power of those words were piercing to my heart. I was overwhelmed at the depth of her love for him. She was willing to sacrifice her physical self for him. As a young woman at the time, I immediately knew that was the kind of marriage I wanted. That was the kind of love I wanted to have for someone.

I wanted a love so deep that I was willing to sacrifice myself. Letting others sacrifice for us is easy. Then I get what I want. I win. Sacrifice is hard. It’s a willingness to put someone else’s needs first. And, I don’t mean little things like letting them choose where to go on vacation. Sacrifice is personal. It’s intimate. It deepens the relationship and solidifies the commitment.

A Living Sacrifice
12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Romans 12:1 (NIV).

Love issacrifice. When we sacrifice, we worship and honor God. We are honoring what He did for us through Christ. I want my life to be that kind of reflection. I have some work to do. It is easy for me to say that I would make the sacrifice if presented with the opportunity. I would love to say that I’m willing to endure cancer for the faith of my spouse, but am I really?

One thing I can do, is make this Christmas season about real love, about sacrifice. Small sacrifices can still make a powerful impact. Will you join me? Share how you plan to sacrifice this season.

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