The Essence of True Sacrifice

Thought for the Week

It’s Memorial Day in my country, the day on which honor those who’ve sacrificed their lives for the sake of others. But as deeply as the word “sacrifice” resonates, the key word is others.

Martin Luther King Jr. put it this way: In Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan, “The first question which the priest and the Levite asked,” after seeing a wounded man beside the road, “was, ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But the good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?’”

The essence of true sacrifice is to offer oneself in service to others. That is the kind of sacrifice that deserves to be, no, must be commemorated.

There have been more ultimate good samaritans, people who’ve given their lives in service to others, than we’ll ever know, and the vast majority are unsung. Perhaps you know or are even related to one. There are some stirring examples in this article by Elisabeth Sedgwick: 10 People Who Sacrificed Their Lives To Save Others.

“When you sacrifice something precious, you’re not really losing it. You’re just passing it on to someone else.” ~Mitch Albom

     “I’m willing to walk in darkness if it keeps humans in the light.”    ~Victoria Schwab

“The happiness of love is in action; its test is what one is willing to do for others.” ~Lew Wallace

“Greater love has no one than this: that they lay down their life for their friends.” ~John 15:13


About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Quips and Quotes and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to The Essence of True Sacrifice

  1. The link didn’t take me to the post I’d hoped it would. One of my three uncles lost during WWII had a New Testament. Inside he’d drawn an arrow to the American flag, with “I give everything for the country it stands for,” then signed it. It’s hard to imagine my grandparents finding that among his “effects” sent home through the Kansas City Quartermaster Depot.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. numrhood says:

    if john 15:11 is not to hide the word
    is god love you he gave his son
    god is known by his doings


  3. Wonderful thoughts to reflect and act upon!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have seen life coming back full circle. At one time, my father helped an wounded unknown man in the forest on a deserted road and saved his life just in the nick of time. 3 years later, our entire family almost died in a road accident on a deserted road. A unknown car driver came to rescue us, took us to hospital and vanished. I have fed hungry people, and a week later unknown people have brought me food on my doorstep when I couldn’t cook. I supported a cousin to divorce an abusive man against the society’s taboo. Many years later, the society stood up for me to support me in the same. Life is a boomerang…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Love this reminder that we are not here for ourselves. God bless, Mitch!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nancy Ruegg says:

    Such gripping images. Powerful reminders we’re ALL responsible for one another.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Russell Brown says:

    In a very real sense, you can say that willing self-sacrifice is the heart of the American identity. Thanks for this great Memorial Day reminder, Mitch.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Take a knee! Here’s to remembering all the unsung heroes! 🖤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for sharing Mitch. I am in love with kindness a good deeds. A fine tribute is your share! ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

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