The Jesus Way, Sacrifice (part 3)

“A sacrificial life is the means, and the only means, by which a life of faith matures.” Eugene Peterson in The Jesus Way, (pg. 50)

This sentence has troubled me a bit, maybe more than a bit, the last couple of days.

Let’s rephrase. “The only way my faith will mature, can mature, is living a life of sacrifice.”

But that’s exactly what I don’t want to do. I want the bigger house, the relatively new cars, vacations every year at the beach and God’s favor, wisdom and the kind of spiritual depth that puts me in the same class as Brother Lawrence, A.W. Tozer and Mother Teresa. I don’t want to give up anything. Or if I have to, make it as small a sacrifice as I can. Like C. S. Lewis’ description, I’m “very like an honest man paying his taxes. He pays them all right, but he does hope that there will be enough left over to live on.”

It’s fear really. Fear of knowing what might happen if I don’t keep God at arms length. You see, I know, like Teresa of Avila, how God sometimes treats his friends. And I’m afraid of what he might ask of me, what I might have to lay on the altar.

I know I’m not alone. I’ve talked to a lot of guys who fear the same thing. But to do anything about that fear is a ways beyond the norm  in the American church. Instead we go on whistling through the cemetery. And then in an incredible act of chutzpah, I (we?) still expect to have it all, and anyone or anything that keeps me from having it all better be ready for a lot of whining and hissy fits.

What would it look like if instead of saying, “Mine!”, I said, “It’s yours.”?  I might start growing up a little.

“There are very few people
who realise what God would make of them
if they abandoned themselves into his hands,
and let themselves be formed by his grace.” -St Ignatius


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