This I Believe

Kristen - Grand Rapids, Michigan
Entered on November 5, 2006

The Power of Sacrifice

I’m the type of person who becomes so engaged in movies that I end up crying, fall totally in love with a character, or get so scared that I have to leave the room. I recently saw the movie, “The Guardian,” and left the theater speechless, feeling like I had just seen the most powerful movie in the world. This movie demonstrates the power of sacrifice through the life of Coast Guard rescue swimmer, Ben Randall, who willingly risked his life every day to rescue people in danger. His dedication and willingness influenced many others who were training for the Coast Guard to stop thinking about themselves and live for one purpose, to willingly sacrifice anything and everything to save others. I believe sacrifice is very powerful. Being a Coast Guard rescue swimmer is just one, rather extreme, example of sacrificing for someone. Everyday, in every one’s life there are opportunities to serve those around you. In a society in which most people are focused on themselves, even small sacrifices, done humbly and with love, will impact others.

What makes sacrifice so unique is the humbleness it takes to give something away and never expect anything in return. My grandpa has always been someone who I look up to and admire because of his willingness to give up whatever he’s doing to serve someone else. He would skip meetings to come to my middle school basketball games even though I told him he didn’t have to come. He always came anyway and it made my day. Whenever his driveway was covered in snow he would shovel a neighbors’ driveway first. He never wanted anyone to know it was him and he didn’t expect the favor to be returned. He influenced the lives of many through selfless acts of sacrifice. His example made me realize how powerful humble acts of sacrifice really are.

The power of sacrifice can be very influential in today’s society because of our culture’s “me first” mentality. It can be extremely difficult to think about serving others when society is saying to serve yourself. For many people, their goal in life is to get ahead in society, and live life focusing on being successful. I believe that when people aren’t so focused on their own lives and are willing to serve others, powerful things can happen. Every year Christian High has a Thanksgiving food drive. Last year, my third hour teacher motivated us to really dedicate ourselves to buy food rather than stealing a few cans out of Mom’s pantry. We became so determined by her words of encouragement that more than half of the total collected food at Christian High was from our third hour class. I can only imagine what would happen if the whole school became as engaged in the food drive as we were. By sacrificing just a little time and money, our class was able to feed hundreds of people. It only took one teacher to make our whole class care about the hungry on Thanksgiving. Any other time I would have been so focused on all the other things I had to get done, but one teacher’s motivation and willingness to sacrifice made me put aside my own agenda to think about others in need.

The perfect example of sacrifice is Jesus Christ. The love He displayed for us is what true sacrifice is all about. Not only did he give his life for sinners and people who hated him, but he was willing to go through more pain and suffering than we can imagine. His sacrifice demonstrates the great love He has for us. He loves us so much that He was willing to give his life for us. Christ’s love is a constant reminder to love others through sacrifice. Romans 12:1 says, “Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship.” Because of Christ’s love for us, I believe in spreading His love to others through sacrifice. Genuine sacrifice comes from truly loving someone and being willing to give up a piece of yourself for that person.

I believe the power of sacrifice can truly impact people. Most everyday sacrifices are simply thoughtful acts of kindness, but the effect of the sacrifice is huge. These humble acts show the love which Jesus showed through His sacrifice. In today’s self-centered society, the small gestures that may seem insignificant will show Christ’s love and make an indescribable impact on others.