Sacrifice: Where’s the balance?

I was chatting with a group of my girlfriends, and we started talking about Sacrifice.

Sometimes, we find ourselves at one extreme, where we’re selfish with our time and our money, and we really don’t want to sacrifice any of it, even to help the poor and the needy, sometimes even to assist a loved one.

But at the same time, many of us find ourselves at the other extreme, where we give and give and give, until we become bitter and angry and hurt. We feel like a pushover. But how do we yell “stop”? We feel responsible for part of the situation, since we were the ones who enabled the other person to depend on us so much.

Where is the balance? When is there a sign that “Enough is enough”, or when “this is the limit of giving”, or “this is it”? Is there even a sign?

As Christian girls, we’re taught to be selfless and sacrificial, but yet we’re also taught to be clever and alert and shwerd. What in the world does that mean?!

So now, we’re left with people who are so bitter and resentful, because they are a giver, and people keep taking from them.

Now what?

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5 thoughts on “Sacrifice: Where’s the balance?

  1. You bring up something I struggle with daily. In an ideal world we would all sacrifice, we’d all be givers, and so we would never feel bitter or resentful because there would be reciprocity. But what about today, when we are still building the kingdom? When people are still imperfect? I think that that bitterness, that resentment we feel is an emotional test. It reminds me that I still have an ego and that I am still attached to worldly things. If I were detached what would it matter how someone reacted (or didn’t) to my love and generosity? I want to be truly selfless, to be able to be detached, to give without the expectation to receive.

    There is also something to be said about how sometimes the kindest thing can be not to give. It is kinder not to give an addict their addiction. It is kinder for a parent to encourage their child to do their own work, rather than to do it for them. It is that balance, that middle road, that level of discernment I strive for so that I can give and not worry that I am inadvertently hurting myself or others. It is definitely hard and something I struggle with daily and am so glad you wrote about it because it’s important. Thank you for your post!

  2. Hi. I write third culture kids and stumbled on to your blog. I understand what you mean about sacrifice. As Christians we are taught to love and be patient. But I think we should learn to draw the line when abuse occurs. When someone is abusing us physically or emotionally, I don’t think we should allow it.

  3. Pingback: Unselfish vs being taken advantage of « The Adventures of a Third Culture Kid

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