5 Ways God Taught Me to Be More Sacrificial

Updated Feb 23, 2024
5 Ways God Taught Me to Be More Sacrificial

We live in an individualistic culture which makes it more difficult to be others-centered as we are isolated and innately selfish. Through the years, the Lord has taught me how to be truly sacrificial.

When I was growing up, I had one sibling, my sister. My mother tried her best to make things fair. However, I felt the weight of the sin of favoritism as she favored my sister over me. This gave me a misunderstanding of what fairness is. As an adult, I always want life to be fair. If someone gets one thing, the other should get the same thing as well. As Christians, we know that's not how God works. The idea of fairness is selfishness at its root. For me to learn how to sacrifice, I had to learn to be others-centered. Being sacrificial is not always easy. This is especially true in our works-based society and want to earn our way to happiness. We also live in an individualistic culture which makes it more difficult to be others-centered as we are isolated and innately selfish. Through the years the Lord has taught me how to truly sacrifice.

Here are 5 situations where God taught me to sacrifice:

1. Through Tough Times

I've gone through some difficult times in my life. Those rock bottom moments where everything in my life was turned upside down were the moments where God taught me how to sacrifice.

There were times when I lost greatly, not only because of my faith in God but also because of my willingness to stand up for what's right. Because of this, I have learned to sacrifice my reputation, my integrity, others’ perceptions of me, money, time, and resources.

Jesus lived a sacrificial life. He gave up many luxuries on earth so that he could be the sacrificial lamb for us. It is in difficult circumstances that we learn to trust God the most and it is only when we sacrifice that we truly learn God's giving nature.

2. Through Good Times

Just as I learned how to sacrifice through difficult times, I also learned how to sacrifice during good times.

For example, when I made extra money and had an abundance of it, it was easy for me to give up that money to meet others’ needs. When God met my needs, it was easier for me to meet the needs of others.

When we experience deep emotional issues or have emotional needs that have not been met, we want to fill that hole in our self-esteem with an abundance of money, clothing, food, etc. This gives us a false sense of hope and pride. However, God does not want us to live this way. He wants us to live a life of humility and to give to others.

Allow God to meet your physical, emotional, and mental needs and sacrifice will be easier to learn.

3. Through Being Others Centered

When we live our lives for ourselves every day, it's easy to become so selfish we don't see it. However, we need to learn to be others-centered.

We need to give up our own luxuries for others to have what they need. For example, for others to have food, we may need to sacrifice our own food (or part of our food budget) to make sure others are fed. We can do the same with our clothing. We may need to sacrifice shopping for clothes or donate clothes out of our closet so that others can have clothes on their back.

When we live our lives in service to others and meet the needs of those around us, not only do we understand Christ better, but we understand what it means to sacrifice our own wants and desires for others’ needs to be met.

4. Through Knowing and Imitating Christ

The Bible says, “Bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33). When we surround ourselves with selfish people, we tend to become like the people we hang around with.

However, when we anchor ourselves to the Word of God and look up to people who are trying to live out God's commands for their lives, we become more like the people we see, and we want to model their behavior.

Celebrities like Mother Teresa and Billy Graham were sacrificial people. They gave up their time, money, and luxuries for the sake of the gospel. Because of that, God raised them up in society and made them models for people to follow.

In today's age, there are not that many true leaders. The leaders we have today are far from the true Christian examples that display Christ-like behavior.

To understand sacrifice, we need to understand humility. Sacrifice means to humble ourselves before God and others.

2nd Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” When we bow our knees before God and humble ourselves, he promises that he will heal us.

He will raise up godly leaders when he's ready. Until then, however, we need to work on humbling ourselves and not exercising pride. Then we will understand true sacrifice. The more we know God, the more we know–and want to adopt—the sacrificial life he led.

5. Through Other Saints’ Examples

Not only do we understand sacrifice from knowing God better, but we also understand sacrifice by watching other people who live sacrificial lives. This is different from watching the examples of people on television like Mother Teresa or other Christian celebrities.

These are for the ordinary people who live around us who are the hands and feet of Jesus and present him in tangible ways to the world.

There are people who spend hours of time in prayer interceding for others’ needs. That takes a sacrifice of time. There are others who give sacrificially to people with their money. Although generosity is not the same as sacrifice, every level of generosity takes a level of sacrifice. They trust in God and have faith that he will see them through as they give away their abundance.

I've seen many people give generously one year only to find the next year they're in poverty. Yet, they have the faith to know that God will see them through and take care of their every need. This is the same posture we need to take if we want to understand sacrifice.

We must understand that what we have right now, we may not have next year. God owes us nothing. Therefore, we don't give sacrificially to expect God to give us back something later. We give because God is calling us to sacrifice our lives for others. We trust and have faith that God will take care of us.

But even if he doesn't, we have faith to understand that God has a plan and that his will is in our best interest.

Sacrifice is not normally practiced in our everyday lives. Yet, sacrifice is one of the biggest needs in our world today.

If people started acting more others-centered and less for themselves, we would have a world that's a much better place to live in. The world would know Christ because we would see what he is like simply by looking at the people around them and the Christlike lives they lead.

Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/jontyson

Writer Michelle LazurekMichelle S. Lazurek is a multi-genre award-winning author, speaker, pastor's wife, and mother. She is a literary agent for Wordwise Media Services and a certified writing coach. Her new children’s book Who God Wants Me to Be encourages girls to discover God’s plan for their careers. When not working, she enjoys sipping a Starbucks latte, collecting 80s memorabilia, and spending time with her family and her crazy dog. For more info, please visit her website www.michellelazurek.com.