Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sacrifice & Steak N' Shake: Giving Until It Hurts

Ephesians 5:1-2 
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

One of my favorite people is a 16 year old girl I met almost 3 years ago named Neisha.  I met her one morning at the Saturday ministry I do.  Neisha lives in a rough neighborhood, to say the least, and her life has been far from easy. 

She got pregnant at age 12 and birthed her beautiful baby girl when she was only 13.  When I first met Neisha, I must admit I was a little put off by her abrasiveness.  She’s a little rough around the edges, hardened you could say, and to be honest- rightly so.  For her, life has proven itself to be unpredictable, and people- untrustworthy. 

But so began our unlikely friendship.  At first I would see her on Saturdays…and then our time together began to expand into the week- week night ice cream trips, dinner and a walk in the park, local carnivals and fairs with her and her daughter.  We spent more time together, and my love for her began to grow in an unexpected way.

A few months ago, I was visiting Neisha and I asked her to recall one of the happiest times in her life.  I always ask her questions about her life because frankly, I like to ask questions. 

She paused for a moment and then looked at me in all seriousness and said, “That day you took me and my baby out to Steak and Shake.  I was really happy that day.”

It took me a moment to grasp what she was actually saying.  It took me a moment…and then I was dumbfounded.  I was speechless.  I was amazed, honored, and saddened all at once. 

I realized that for this beautiful 16 year old girl, happy moments were few and far between.  In fact, there was very little in her life for which to be happy.  Neglect, abuse, violence, prejudice and hate were the norm. 

I realized in that moment that all it took to bring a joyful moment into her life was spending $10 bucks at a burger joint on a lazy Tuesday evening. 

God really shook me up with that answer…because in all honesty, there is so much more that I can be doing.  Imagine if I invested more of my time, of my love, of my life?  Imagine if I actually began to SACRIFICE for love, rather than just a few convenient evenings or Saturday mornings?  Imagine what would happen if I chose to give even more, to give until it actually cost me something?

Our Lord came to this earth for nothing but love.  He came, and He gave everything. He held nothing back.  He gave until it hurt.  He gave sacrificially.  There was nothing convenient about it.  There was nothing in His sacrifice that even considered himself for a moment.  It was pure love.  It was sacrificial love. 

I’m challenged…to live in such a way.  I am challenged to give of my love in a sacrificial way.  In a way that goes far above and beyond the level of “convenience” and into the level of sacrificial.  For me, that requires quite a leap of faith.  Faith that when I do give in that way- God will take care of the rest.

It’s easy to be a Christian that simply gives.  We can give some of our time and our money and pat ourselves on the back for it if we want.  It would make us feel better wouldn’t it?  But it’s not enough.  It’s not enough to give when it costs us very little. We must be a people who live as imitators of God…living a sacrificial life of love. 

So the question is, what's it costing you? 


  1. oh wow! thats a really touching story.

  2. Thanks Kaycee for the encouragement....glad you enjoyed this post!! It has really been a shift in perspective for me. Now I need to figure out how to actually live it out and do things differently. Thanks for your support!


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