Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Obedience or Sacrifice?

 By: Rebekah Hargraves

Photo Courtesy of: Priscilla Du Preez

“So Samuel said: ‘Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.’” 

~1 Samuel‬ ‭15:22‬

As women, oftentimes our default is to resort to always sacrificing ourselves, our time, and our physical wellbeing for the sake of others. While that is good and there is a place for that as we live in light of the example of Christ as a servant, we do need to be careful that we do not make the mistake of Saul in this passage, thinking that as long as we are offering sacrifices to the Lord, that it will make up for our disobedience.

I make this mistake on a daily basis.

I cross off all the things on my to-do list and never get around to being in the Word. That’s my prioritizing “sacrifice” over obedience.

I run myself ragged tending to the needs of the kids and the home to the exclusion of rest and sabbath. That can easily turn into sacrifice over obedience.

I sit my kids down in front of a TV show so that they can be out of my hair while I get some work done, never getting around that day to teaching them the Word of God as we sit down, rise up, and go about our life. That can quickly become sacrifice over obedience.

While none of these things are inherently bad in and of themselves, they become bad when they crowd out our first and foremost priority - nurturing our relationship with the Lord and then operating out of the overflow of that with our children.

Here’s the truth of the matter: you aren’t God’s employee; you are His daughter. You aren’t His slave; you are His friend.

So my challenge to you today is this: lay down the toiling and striving and just sit for a little while at the feet of Jesus. You will have chosen that good part that will not be taken from you (Luke 10:42). 

Reflection Questions:

1) Are you more naturally given to obedience or sacrifice?

2) How can you tell the difference?

3) What changes is the Lord leading you to make?

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