Work is full of sacrifices. I know that in my career I have used this line so many times, I couldn’t count; “This is one of those instances where we are just going to have to make some sacrifices”. This can apply to how far we go in negotiations on a deal, how we work with someone else on the team, how we expend our resources, or maybe even how we expend our own time and energy. The irony is that within our jobs proper we really aren’t making any true sacrifices. The better terms are probably concessions or compromises. I have always felt that sacrifice is an overused and misunderstood term. Just look at the first four dictionary definitions: “1.the offering of animal, plant, or human life or of some material possession to a deity, as in propitiation or homage, 2. the person, animal, or thing so offered. 3. the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim. 4. the thing so surrendered or devoted.” If you really offer up something at work like those definitions then you have made a sacrifice. Our jobs typically don’t ask us often to take it to those extremes. However, a part of work does ask us to make that type of sacrifice when we look at what we give up outside of work for the time and energy we devote to our jobs. We do, so many times, sacrifice our loved ones to our work. We make them a distant priority and before long we look back on the months and years and wonder where they went. Our families wonder the same thing. We also sacrifice, too many times, our time with God and our walk with Him when we don’t take Him to work with us and we put Him second or further down the priority list. When we surrender our full attention to our work then we have, in essence, sacrificed ourselves to our jobs, leaving behind God and our loved ones. This sounds bleak and dark and it is when we don’t keep a light shined on ourselves. Today, think about how you are spending your energy, time and your being. Are you putting everything you have into your job and not leaving anything left over to spend on God, your family and those who need you? If you are answering yes, and we all do at some point in our careers, then remind yourself that there was someone else who made an ultimate sacrifice for us. We read in John 10:11; “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.” Let us use this verse to remind ourselves that our shepherd has already made His sacrifice for us and that we now need to not turn our back on that sacrifice, but instead follow our shepherd first and allow Him to lead our way. Do that and we will find that any sacrifices we are asked to make are only the right ones.
Reference: John 10:11 (New Living Testament)