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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