A good number of years ago I was having a really bad day. I can’t remember what exactly had happened, but I had come home from church visibly upset and marched straight to our bedroom. Soon after, I heard the tell-tale sons of my toddler son heading towards the room. The door slowly creaked open, the sound of little feet could be heard, then the huffing and puffing as he pulled his little body up into the bed, and finally his trade-mark: the sound of him sucking on his pacifier. He sat next to me on the bed, staring at my troubled face. Soon he did something he had never done before. He popped his pacifier out of his mouth and tried to give it to me. Now, before you are grossed out, think about this for a second. This was his prized possession, the thing he never let out of his sight (well, not without a great deal of screaming anyways). This was the one thing that could make him happy when he was sad, and here he was giving it to me. I realized that his little one year old brain had realized that daddy was sad, and that his reaction to this was to sacrificially give the thing that always made him happy. And, for the curious, while I did graciously accept his pacifier, and his gift certainly did brighten my day, I chose not to utilize it.
I was, and still am, amazed that a one-year old already understood empathy and sacrificial giving. He understood then something that many of us struggle with at all stages of our lives. While we all understand the importance of helping others, and even sacrificing to do so, we struggle to put it into action. Paul lays out the importance of serving others, even if it means doing so at a cost, in Hebrews 13:
For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:14-16
Because Christ sacrificed so much for us we are called to sacrificially serve others too. It may be by taking a risk and witnessing to someone, taking the time to involve ourselves in a new ministry, or spending more then simply a few dollars to bless someone in need. Serving others sacrificially really is so easy that even a toddler can do it! This week, lets all being looking for opportunities to serve others in a loving way, even if we must sacrifice to do so.