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How Much Do I Sacrifice?

Back in the middle of March I came across a USA Today news article entitled, “Justice Thomas: Americans Don't Sacrifice as Much.” Thomas is a U.S. Supreme Court Justice who is concerned about how self-indulgent Americans have become.

I’m not American but his words spoke to me. Today’s self-indulgence knows few boundaries and we in Canada are guilty as well. I like my little indulgences and I don’t think Justice Thomas would suggest ending them all, but am I as concerned about others as I am about myself? Am I willing to give up what I want to serve another?

In a recent conversation with someone who read my book, Searching for Love: One Woman’s Spiritual Journey through Same-Sex Attraction, I was asked why I was willing to go through so much pain. Why not grab hold of that for which my heart longed and enjoy some happiness? The answer I should have given didn’t come to me until later: We need to live for something higher than our own well-being and happiness.

I believe this is what Justice Thomas was trying to communicate to those listening. How well am I living that truth? Yes, I made the sacrifice I describe in my book but did my willingness to sacrifice continue or do I cling to my rights and my comforts oblivious to or hardened against needs other than mine? I think of my lonely next-door neighbour, the urgent sandbagging against flooding of the Red River, my son who is bored and would love to play a table game with me. Am I willing to sacrifice in order to help?

God, please enable me in this!

Comments

Mikael said…
I've mentioned this on my blog too. How much have I sacrificed; how much is too much; how much is too little? How self-indulgant am I? And when does sacrificing become a self-indulgant act of masochism - denying myself of things to feel better about myself.

I think God has made clear certain things that he wants me to sacrifice, as I believe he has made clear to you certain things he wants you to sacrifice - your desires for relationships (incidentally, also what God has asked me to sacrifice). Of course God doesn't want us to go through life without close friendships, but we need to be aware of how deep we go in a relationship, and how dependent on them we become. But of course, you know all this already.

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About the Author

DEBBIE HAUGHLAND CHAN
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA

I'm married (35 years in December 2008) with four grown sons. I love my city (Winnipeg) and my country (Canada) and promote them both to whoever will listen. God (through Jesus Christ) is the biggest part of my life. I am learning to let him take control of all areas--though I do better at this some times more than others.

I have written a book that's recently been published about part of my journey with God. In it I tell how God confronted me with the same-sex attraction issues I've struggled with all my adult life and how he led me through them to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with him. God is amazing—his forgiveness, his love, his movement in our lives when we allow him and so much more. I suspect God will never run out of things to teach me or ways to make me grow and that’s a good thing (though often very painful).

I suppose I can say that what gives me the greatest pleasure in life is telling others about…

Memories of Mikael Vincent Tien Doe Chan

Reviews of Searching for Love

If you have read the book, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. You may e-mail me at debbiehaughland@gmail.com or post them in the comments section below.

A Real Testimony
I finished your book. A real testimony to what God does for us.
Leona March 3, 2009
I Had Tears Coming

I sat down to read it about a week later and ended up finishing it the same night. At first I admit I was a little bored and thought that the whole book was about a battle all in your mind, but as I continued reading this creeping thought came over me of a different...struggle in my own life, that I would never in my right mind have shared with anyone accept maybe God. I've mentioned your book to a few people because it stirs up age-old controversies that I have myself argued and wondered about, namely about whether or not homosexuality can be cured or just managed like alcoholism--you just have to stay away from temptation. I noticed at the end of your book that your struggle story …