“Scripture calls us to crosses and sacrifices, but crosses and sacrifices tend to be where things die. I don’t like that. I want to avoid that.”- Bob Merritt
“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)
In Chapter 11 (“Less Selfishness, More Sacrifice”) of Done With That, Bob Merritt observes that you’re unable to love others when you demand your own way. Because when it’s all about you, you’re unable to focus on loving others.
Thus, selfishness functions solely as a relationship killer. Since a relationship requires two people, when it’s only about you serves to reduce that number to one. In addition, selfishness = the god of our culture. For example, the author notes, the Oxford Dictionaries crowned selfie the 2013 word of the year.
Consequently, Pastor Merritt describes the woes of the chronically self-centered:
“When you’re at the center of your universe, you end up with a big dose of you. But that makes for a lonely life. You get self-love, but you don’t get real love. You get what you want, but you tend to lose your way. And you end up forfeiting all the things you crave most, like true friendship and belonging.”
On the other hand, sacrifice is the opposite of selfishness. For when you sacrifice something, you give up something you value. Thus, in order to offer your body as a living sacrifice, Pastor Merritt stresses, something must die. But that’s not fun! And, the author quips, certainly not American.
Finally, Pastor Merritt exhorts, “when you surrender something you value for the sake of another, you can change someone’s life . . . and often you get love in return.”
Today’s question: What crosses and sacrifices have you borne? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The endgame – not lives of fun and comfort”