What is Sacrifice? What does Sacrifice entail? Is Sacrifice important?
I have heard these questions and many like them. Often the definition and duties described with it are similar yet different, but there is rarely ever any discrepancies as to its importance.
The idea of sacrifice goes back hundreds of years. There were civilizations that would make sacrifices to their deity in the hope of a prosperous crop output, and even today we still have television shows that exhibit the ideology of sacrifice to ones deity either for prosperous health, high crop yield, or in some cases, a better life. Even in the bible it talks about sacrifice, to which I am not surprised.
There is also sacrifice of the emotional form, where one might sacrifice how they feel about something or someone in order to maintain civility or keep a friend. Parents make an emotional sacrifice the moment they have children, because once a child is born, your heart belongs to them. My husband and I both love our children more than we love one another, and it doesn’t mean we love each other any less than we ever have. It just means that our children and their well being come before anything else, because we love them with such great ferocity that it transcends that of what we have for each other as a couple.
Parents also deal with another form of sacrifice. I didn’t even realize just how much my mother sacrificed for me until I became a parent myself. As a parent we sacrifice so much, be it a loving relationship with another individual, a career path, financial freedom. In low income homes with children, parents often sacrifice their wardrobe or the chance to eat to ensure their children are taken care of. It is well worth it, because in their eyes, so long as their children are taken care of, nothing else matters.
Finally we come to the last form of sacrifice I can think of presently. Benevolent sacrifice. In the case of benevolent sacrifice, these individuals give until it hurts them, and then keep on giving still. They give up space in their home for those who need a roof over their heads, they would sacrifice the clothing on their back to a stranger on the streets. I have actually seen such a benevolent sacrifice when I was just a kid walking home.
There was a homeless man who lived in the park behind the complex I grew up in, and one day as I was walking through, someone had stolen the money my mom had given me for my allowance. The homeless man took me aside and could tell I was distressed, so he asked me what was wrong. I told him about how someone had stolen my money and he produced a $10 out of thin air and offered it to me.
I couldn’t even believe my eyes, this man had no home and lived in the park behind where I lived yet he was offering me money. I told him there was no way I could accept it, and he did something rather surprising. He looked me in the eye and said, “I am giving it to you as a gift, and it is rude to not accept a gift.” I knew I wasn’t supposed to talk to strangers, but I was so overwhelmed with gratefulness that I hugged him. He who had so little, had offered it to me, someone who at that time didn’t realize I had everything.