Any parent knows that sacrifices are an almost daily event as you raise your children. You sacrifice sleep as your little one crawls into your bed with a nightmare. You sacrifice that book you were going to read when your teenager needs a shoulder to cry on. What kind of parent would you be if you refused to make these sacrifices? It’s not the kind of parent I want to be.
I just learned that the root of the word sacrifice is “to make holy.” I hadn’t thought of a sacrifice in that way before, but I have had many people ask me why God needs our sacrifices. It’s one of those things that seems a little backwards until we look at it the right way. God doesn’t need our sacrifices, and Scripture even says that He doesn’t want our sacrifices if our hearts are in the wrong place. The important part is not the action, but the intention. Why?
If a sacrifice is something that makes us holy, then the action performed in the right spirit is one that will humble us, will help us to be grateful, and will strengthen us in our character and in our devotion. The sacrifices of a parent are necessary to form a strong family. Our own sacrifices for God are necessary to form a strong faith. Giving our time, our attention, and our gifts are the ways that we grow closer to others, and in the same way, we grow closer to God.