Now that the holiday season is upon us, a very important thought comes to mind, which so many are so often neglecting. As you think about it, failure to do this is what really leads to so many tragedies and so many broken relationships all around us. Understanding what I am addressing here would help revolutionize the psychological world and even do wonders for the business world. In fact, when you consider the depth of this, it is at the very core of the Character of GOD and the reason why we can celebrate any greater meaning to the holidays. What am I talking about here?: Self Sacrifice.
Most agree that we are living in a self absorbed society. An attitude of pumping up and pleasing one’s self is what drives so much of our lives! Self esteem is said to be the thing lacking in so much of our society and what you are said to need to help you live better in your home and do better at your job. Esteeming one’s self is still in vogue today and is essentially at the heart of our corrupted human nature. It also drives much of the frenzy we see around shopping for material things and the latest technologies. I submit 😉 that our societal and even relational problems are not found in esteeming or pumping up ourselves. It is not healthy to be motivated primarily from esteeming yourself or even your skills and abilities. It is not safe to even put some group of people in esteem above all others. Like it or not, we, and you in particular, are not the center of the Universe. The world does not revolve around any solely human being! A created world cannot. Now, if you doubt Creation, then you’d better do a lot more study of it and get some greater perspective! Life is not about lifting up man to the place of God. Life is about humbling yourself before the Creator and others and sacrificing your self for His will for you.
Lest you think this is absurd, please consider it further with me. Personally, what lasting reward do you have when you promote yourself alone? Perhaps we could learn from history and the example of the ego-maniac emperor, Alexander “the Great”? After he had conquered the then known world, it is said that he wept because there were no more worlds to conquer! His perspective was so limited! There is so much more to explore in this world and in the vast regions of space, that no mere human being could ever explore and learn and conquer everything. As our knowledge grows and expands, we (that is if you are not living in your own limited world) realize there is so much more we still do not understand! Whenever you promote yourself and reach your goal, what is then left for you to do? There is no lasting satisfaction in conquering any task or situation, unless you have conquered yourself as well and yielded to the One Who has even conquered death (which eventually will also be completely conquered for us all in time 😉). When you are sacrificing yourself to this Creator GOD, you will see that the most pleasure and satisfaction comes in pleasing HIM and serving others and helping them know HIM. There is no higher calling and meaning than to sacrifice self for GOD to Glorify HIM. Please do not misunderstand this as some people and even religions do. Sacrificing yourself for GOD does not mean you blow yourself up to kill others and damage property. It means loving and serving others more than yourself and any personal goal apart from the main goal—to Glorify your Creator and enjoy HIM!
Why do you think GOD HIMSELF required such an elaborate sacrificial system for HIS people, Israel? Why is personal sacrifice even often admired by us when we see someone risking their own well being for the good of others? Do you understand what I am thinking about here? Sacrificing self is what GOD calls us to do, because it is part of Who HE is! It is why so many celebrate the Holidays and what is really behind what Christmas should represent. GOD sacrificed Himself and limited using His own rights and abilities as GOD, in the Incarnation. Immanuel means GOD is with us (Matthew 1:23)! GOD commands those who follow HIM to have this same mindset as HE did in the Person of Jesus Christ. Philippians 2:5 says, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (see the whole chapter for a more full understanding). Christians are called to be living sacrifices (Romans 12:1)!
Friend, will you emulate GOD HIMSELF or promote your own self? Please learn to Sacrifice Self!