Archive for March 2012

Sacrifice, or Trade?   Leave a comment

I have been in correspondance with someone lately and it has driven me pretty deep into my head. I have always prided myself at being fairly objective and analytical of myself. In all of this, with heated and heavy words being thrown around, I realized I was pointing out flaws in someone else and had been ignoring the flaws that I possess.

In relation to the exchange with this person it got me thinking about the word Sacrifice. I believe that word gets misused much of the time. However, that last sentence/belief is only true if I have correctly defined the word. I checked 2 sources and both point to a sacrifice as being something given up mostly with no return. One definition allowed for a sacrifice to be something precious given up to obtain something else. Example… lives lost in war to obtain peace or protection. But for the most part a sacrifice is given with no return. If that is true then when most of us are sacrificing it is possible that, in reality, we are making a trade. Personal example… I play guitar or bass at my church. I perceive it to be a sacrifice of my time. And usually it is. I play and get nothing in return. But sometimes I expect thanks. To me that is a trade.

With all that in mind I started thinking about the times I convinced myself that I was sacrificing my time, resources, money… etc. only to become embittered when I received no thanks for it. “I just wish he/she/they waswere appreciative!” Gratitude is a valuable commodity it seems.

I don’t think many of us realize just how dependent we are on gratitude. I am realizing that I am very dependent on it. Didn’t know that til very recently.

Let me ask you the question that I am asking myself these days…

What good is self sacrifice if it only leads to bitterness and unforgiveness? Wow. Tricky. Especially when you think of it in the context of marriage. What happens when one of the couple starts to be convinced that they are sacrificing more than the other?

I think we need to know clearly what we are getting in to when we decide to sacrifice our time, or efforts, or whatever. Is it a sacrifice, or is it a trade?

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Posted March 27, 2012 by john b in philosofickle

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Lent Diets- New Years Resolution Afterburners   Leave a comment

I work at a gym. Most of you know that but for first-time readers I want to provide a little back story and qualification. Yesterday a young girl (14ish) came to me after her workout. She was complaining that she was going to pass out and that she hadn’t eaten all day. At that point I knocked her out with a hard right cross to the chin. You don’t tell a trainer that you came to the gym to work out and didn’t eat all day. That is stupid on 2 counts: working out on no fuel, and telling the one guy who will really care. So yeah, I knocked her out.

Actually I bought her some juice and an apple and chastised her. Then asked her what the deal was. Lent.

Ah, Lent. That beautiful time of year when people give up of food. It is rather convenient actually. In January, you pledge to lose weight. In late February and March you might not be sticking with that pledge too well so here comes Lent and BAM, you shift that diet into second gear.

Diet tactics I despise include not eating. Lent = excuse to not eat. Now I am not assuming that is what everyone does at Lent but I do know for sure that that is what somedo at Lent. This girl did. Do you? Is it a time for dieting in the guise of self-sacrifice?

I struggle with this personally. I look at things like sugar, caffeine, fatty/greasy foods, and I know that they are horrible for me. On top of that I know that if I stopped consuming them I would be very lean, and what muscle I have would show nicely. But I have trouble not eating that stuff. Sometimes I think about going on a total healthy diet regimen, in my mind I justify it with the knowledge that I should be taking care of this temple (my body. a little too large. drafty front doors. seats more than necessary). I tell myself that it is really my job as a christian to be healthy and self controlled. But… it IS my job to be those things. Every. Day.

It is kind of like being nice at christmas time. Or giving only when a bucket or plate is passed in front of me. Or being generous in my surplus and not in my lacking. Or being kind to my friends but not really so much to those I don’t know. God didn’t tell us to love our neighbors in as much as he told us to be a neighbor to everyone, and love them.

But getting back to the point. We as christians are supposed to die daily. Not for a small segment out of the year. You want to give up lunch during Lent? Thats great! Just examine yourself to find the real reason. Be truthful to yourself and to One Lent focuses on. Maybe give the money you would have spent to someone who could use a lunch.

Does the way you celebrate Lent show love? That is the purpose after all. That is the language that we have been told to use with our neighbors. Is Lent a chance to realize that weight loss that you have been trying to achieve but haven’t?  But don’t let Lent be the only time that we are truly obedient to the directives we have been given. Care for those around you, but maybe care more during Lent. Give to the needy, but give more during Lent. Don’t let Lent be a time in which we celebrate by inaction.

Posted March 3, 2012 by john b in Uncategorized

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