One radio station host was talking about fathers and what happens to parents in general after they lose their child:
“You can tell if someone’s lost their child. You can pick them out of a crowd of faces. They’ve lost the spark. The way they move is not the same from before. Even the way they dance is different. They simply are not the same any more.
My dad lost his first child. But even with a broken heart, my dad’s life is filled with examples of self-sacrifice. One of the things my dad would do is to walk blocks away from his workplace, just to be able to save a dollar every day, so that he would have some cash to give to me and my siblings. I see so much character in my dad, sacrificing personal freedom and liberties for the sake of his family. And even with his heart-wrenching loss, my dad kept going and pursued giving up for the sake of others.
I’m challenged on whether I actually reflect this heart of sacrifice in all areas of my life?
“…Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 9:12b)
My father’s self-sacrificing example reminds me a lot about Paul and his ministry. The Apostle Paul was a man who gave his entire life over to the ministry of the Gospel. He especially had the opportunities and the right to many things as an apostle would have, such as marriage (contrary to the celibacy of the Catholic priesthood), receiving funds (via support from church), and so forth.
But Paul intentionally denies himself.
Paul would rather endure denial of these rights, so that he would not get in the way of the ministry that God has placed him in. Self-denial and self-sacrifice are hallmarks of what a Christian must model (ref Luke 9:23)
Jesus Christ is the perfect example of enduring self-sacrifice (ref Phil 2:6-8). He gave up his entire right as the Son of God to die and redeem humanity.
These men lived and endured suffering. Broken, yet faithful.
I wonder if I am living a sacrificial life. Though God granted me knowledge and learning of His Word, my father lives out a self-sacrificing life in such a shining way that I feel ashamed. My dad’s example reminds me of the Gospel and living a life that centers on the cross.
Do I truly “count it all loss” comparing to the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus? Despite the price I have to pay, am I living in a way so that the Gospel is furthered into the world? Am I denying myself for the sake of His name?