I was made aware, at a very early age, that being a disciple of Christ takes sacrifice. I was told this simple truth by parents, teachers, pastors, and any elderly person I happened to bump into at potlucks. However, I don’t think I ever truly realized what the idea of sacrifice for Christ meant until I had to do it myself.
You see, most of those people who would tell me about everything I had to give up to follow Him all had one thing in common: they told me I had to give up things. Music, movies, food, money, sometimes relationships. So when I started getting to know my savior better, I was extremely startled to find myself changing. It was more than just giving up something I liked. Instead of asking me to throw away certain video games, or spend more time reading scripture, He asked me for me.
Looking back on it now, it’s a little humorous, but at the time, I was honestly pretty scared. I thought I was majorly depressed, none of the things that usually brought me happiness, or at the very least enjoyment, were making me feel anything at all. In fact, I truly didn’t want to do the things that had always been on the top of my list of priorities. I was changing, and in turn so were the things I enjoyed, the things I liked to do, and who I enjoyed doing them with.
This is how all relationships go, you meet someone new, and after spending enough intimate time with them, you start to adopt their mannerisms, their little quirks, and ultimately, their likes and dislikes. The only difference is that with God, you become more like the Creator of the universe, and that comes at a worldly price.
I find that most people focus a lot on the little things that they sacrifice for a relationship with Christ, when in truth, I think the true sacrifice is something much greater, it’s a sacrifice of being. You make the conscious decision to not only give up the things you identify yourself with, but to stop wanting them all together. It’s a sacrifice of identity. A sacrifice many, either don’t understand or aren’t willing to make.
Many people reverse engineer the sacrifice process, and give up all the insignificant things in an attempt to keep from having to sacrifice their identity, and who they are as individuals. They believe the lie that Christ isn’t worth it, that the unique identity he has in store for every one of us is less than the ones we have chosen for ourselves. When in truth, the only fulfilling way to experience this life, is with the identity and purpose God has given us.
The importance of this knowledge comes with action. Because the only way to be an accurate depiction of Christ, the only way to really benefit from His blessings, and the only way to truly “enspire” others, is when you accept the identity Christ has intended for you, and are willing to make the sacrifice that comes with it. A sacrifice of identity. A sacrifice worth making.
Written by Jack Bendall, a student at Chisholm Trail Academy.