Willing to Sacrifice
We want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.
—2 CORINTHIANS 8:1-3
Every Christmas the church where I serve receives a special offering for missions of mercy overseas. A few years ago I challenged the congregation in January to consider setting aside twenty dollars per week beyond their tithe. At the end of the year each family would be able to give one thousand dollars to the missions offering.
A number of people accepted the challenge, and our missions offering that year exceeded five hundred thousand dollars. One young couple told me: "We had only been married six months when you threw out your challenge.… We set aside twenty dollars each week. Several times we were tempted to dip into our missions offering, but we resisted. It is with great joy that we give our thousand dollars to missions." They handed me an envelope containing fifty twenty-dollar bills.
Financial planners advise setting aside a little more money than you think you can afford when you save for retirement. The same principle is true of giving, though with different reasons in mind. Your level of giving should affect the choices you make about other expenditures. If it doesn't, you might consider giving more than you think you can spare.
The envelope I received from the young couple represented sacrifice—joyful, pleasing sacrifice to the Giver of all good gifts.
When was the last time you sacrificed something to give to someone else? What could you sacrifice today?
Dr. Gary Chapman is the beloved best-selling author of The Five Love Languages and Love as a Way of Life. For more information, click here.