Wednesday, February 3, 2010

'I Desire Mercy, Not Sacrifice'

I keep spelling 'sacrifice' wrong, but that's beside the point.

It's funny how God directs us. I think that when something happens and you see it two or three (or sometimes four or five) times, that it's a message and it's a message you're supposed to get.

My husband and I were talking about Mercy vs. Sacrifice, then, of course, Heavenly Humor (a lovely lady!!) blogged about it!

There are things in my life that are definitely sacrifice. Being part of the Advent Mission Fund is most definitely sacrifice and a sacrifice I wish I hadn't committed to. There are things in my life that are mercy. I think this luncheon that is coming up is mercy...I don't HAVE to have this luncheon and I really, REALLY want it to raise money for these kids that I'm going to meet in May.

But what I want to know is:

Can what was once seen as sacrifice become an act of mercy?

I know that I've talked about what's going on before, but I kind of want to not refer to it by name today, if that's all right? You know, I want it to be a left hand-right hand thing (even if it can't be) and I'm trying to figure it all out.

So, when I first thought about it, I don't know if it was sacrifice or mercy. When she e-mailed me back, it became so overwhelming, I felt like I HAD to do it. (sacrifice). I had the testing done (sacrifice) and I was scared. I was terrified and I was having panic attacks. After a few weeks, I told her I couldn't do it. A month goes by, a month and a half goes by, but I still think about it. It comes up in different ways (my mom mentions it without even realizing it) and it's still on my mind. The fear that I had before was gone and I feel that maybe this is something God is calling me to do (mercy?).

Now, the doctor's appointment I have this Friday is 7 hours long (sacrifice) and I'm going to miss work (sacrifice), but Christ gave his life and so I can give a part of mine (mercy?).

What do you believe defines the line and the difference between the two?

UPDATE: I think I'm feeling a little bit better about a few things. Andrea made a comment. Though I was thinking of sacrifice as something that I didn't WANT to do, I think I like thinking it's something I HAVE to do. Mercy is more of a choice. Of course, this may not be how everyone sees it and maybe it's because I'm trying to define the two and that one just works well with my situation ;)


  1. That's a good question. I'm not sure...I know that sacrifice is the ultimate of giving...and mercy...I always think of mercy in terms of someone giving forgiveness and showing compassion to someone in need.

  2. Sacrifice for me is something I feel I have to do and mercy is something I want to do.

    Maybe this definition is way off from others, but that is how it fits for me.

  3. Ohhh, so glad you're going here! Trust me, I wrestle with this same thing. I'm not sure what it is you're struggling with, maybe an operation? If that's the case, then you need to decide if you're doing it for mercy or sacrifice.

    I think the two are clearly distinct. Sacrifice is something you do for God. Mercy is something you do for others. For instance, fasting and giving money - God doesn't need any food or money, so don't give it to Him. His love is so big and beautiful, see, He doesn't want all these things for Himself, He wants them for others, widows, orphans, prisoners.

    Let's say you wanted to be really nice and give me $1000 just because you loved me. I would be so moved by that, and truly appreciate it, but if I already had a million bucks, I wouldn't need it, but I would be overjoyed if instead I asked you to give that money to my neighbor who just lost his job. Now I'm happy, my neighbor's happy, and you're happy, because you know your money will truly be appreciated.

    "I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me."(Matt 25:36)

    That's mercy.

    If you are thinking of helping someone medically, look at it this way. Say someone is asking for your kidney. Would you give away your kidney because you wanted to please God? God doesn't need a kidney. But He would be pleased if someone else needed a kidney, and you gave them yours. I almost think it pleases God more when we have MERCY on others, than if we SACRIFICE just for the sake of pleasing Him.

    If you were having a kidney removed just to please God, and no one else was involved, you could just throw it in the garbage. See the difference?

  4. Let me rephrase that last sentence to this:

    If you were having a kidney removed just to please God, and no one else needed it (this being done strictly for God), would you wrap it in a pretty box and put a bow on it?

    I am getting so excited! Can you tell? hehe...

  5. Debby sent me here and man am I glad she did!

    I am thinking through many of these same things!

    God bless you!


  6. I think these are interesting posts and I did read the post that was referred to earlier in your post as well by Debby at Heavenly Humor. Not knowing the gravity of the choice you are weighing in with, I know God will provide you with the true peace that passes understanding once you seek His advice regarding this decision. See what He wants you to do!

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  7. It took me a few reads, but I do think I'm getting the difference, thank you Deborah! And thank you, Kat. I think God has been answering me a lot. I just seem to need a lot of talking to :)

  8. Well, I dreamed about this last night! I blogged about it and shared a link to your site:

  9. {chills} at how God WORKS! Praying for you and your decision and your gift of mercy! or sacrifice. Both are necessary!

  10. I don't remember if it was Joyce Meyers, but it was someone wonderful who defined mercy so beautifully - Mercy is God's loving kindness even though we do not deserve it. Not grudgingly given, Mercy is always benevolent, loving. God shows us great mercy when He loves us so completely and we don't deserve that kind of love.

    Sacrifice is the giving up of something precious with a full heart, though it hurts to give up, like Jesus or Abraham willing to give Isaac. It's never stingy or grudgingly given.

    I think society today has made "sacrifice" into something grudging. I think of sacrifice as giving up something I care about for something bigger and more important. For example, I "sacrificed" a career to raise my family in a hands-on manner. Yes, I gave up something - and if I had done it grudgingly,then I shouldn't have done it all, but I gave it up for something absolutely wonderful, though they may never realize the "sacrifice" that was given so they may have the benefits of my sacrifice. Do we truly understand Jesus's sacrifice? Not really, but we sure understand the benefits - and aren't we grateful?

    One is the giving up and the other is the giving away - How wonderful to be on the giving end and how wonderful to be on the receiving end:)