Occasionally, someone will feel a need to remind me how they’ve ‘sacrificed’ their dream or desires in life to serve someone else’s dream or need for a season. They hinted at disapproval of my freedom to live out my dream without making the kind of sacrifices they have made in theirs. There is an undercurrent of self-pity, and an assumption that if they have been required by their God to ‘die to self’ in this way so too should I in a similar way, as well as anyone else who claims to be as obedient as they are.
But who is in position to say what God has called another person to do with his life?
Who is able to measure all the facets of ‘sacrifice’ that person has made to follow his chosen course?
One person’s act of sacrifice is another person’s act that brought satisfaction. It depends on if and how well a person has aligned his choices and actions with his inner goals.
There is really no sacrifice when one does what he loves to do, and is designed to do, although for another doing the same thing it would feel like one. To the one called, or wired for this kind of life the cost doesn’t feel like something has been lost. In this case ‘sacrifice’ may be defined as one good thing being lost in order to gain another – and it is a sign something is wrong, not that something is right.
As the popular theory of obeying God goes, if you are doing what you should, doing good, then no good thing will be lost to you in the process. It’s all good and you just need to see it God’s way. If you feel a sense of sacrifice this means something in your perspective is not lined up with how things should be.
If one feels that he is making a big sacrifice for something or someone else maybe this person should pause to consider that the problem is right there, where there is a difference between what he wants to do and what he feels he must do. A person who has not set up his direction in life to include the very (difficult) things he thinks is expected of him by his God, this person is going to have problems in his conscience, or have problems with a sense of self-pity; he may feel himself to be a victim to the will of God.
It is a serious conflict when this God outside-of-me who knows better what is good for me than this same God inside-of-me who has told me in my heart what to do with my life. I had better get those two God’s on the same page.