Learning To Sacrifice What I Do Not Need
All the information below has been taken from James Allen’s Byways Of Blessedness Ch.5 Hidden Sacrifices, except for what is contained within the + symbol, which is written by me.
At first the loss seems great, and the sacrifice is painful, but this is because of the self-delusion and spiritual blindness which always accompany selfishness, and pain must always accompany the cutting away of some selfish portion of one’s nature.
So it is with all true sacrifice; it is at first, and until it is completed, painful, and this is why men shrink from it. They cannot see any purpose in abstaining from and overcoming selfish gratification, it seems to them like losing so much that is sweet; seems to them like courting misery, and giving up all happiness and pleasure.
No man can become unselfish, and thereby arrive at the highest bliss, until he is willing to lose, looking for neither gain nor reward: it is this state of mind which constitutes unselfishness.
A man must be willing to humbly sacrifice his selfish habits and practices because they are untrue and unworthy, and for the happiness of those about him, without expecting any reward or looking for any good to accrue to himself; nay, he must be prepared to lose for himself, to forfeit pleasure and happiness.
No man loses by the sacrifice of self, or some portion of self; nevertheless, he thinks he will lose by so doing, and because he so thinks he will lose by so doing, he begins to suffer unnecessarily. + He believes he is losing something of value, something needed, when it is that very thing that is breaking and destroying him.+
- We must be willing to walk through the Fire +
- What fire? +
- The fire of pain-filled torment- that occurs the moment we let go of any item, person, idea, routine, action, that we receive pleasure and instant gratification from. To feed the flesh, causes a monstrosity of a mess. +
Men are anxious to do some great thing, to perform some great sacrifice which lies beyond the necessities of their experience, while all the time, perhaps, they are neglecting the one thing needful, are blind to that sacrifice which by its very nearness is rendered imperative.
Where is the greatest sacrifice needed?
Where is my greatest weakness?
What sin is it, or action that haunts me?
What is my greatest pleasure?
There you will find the answer.
Sacrifices Of Character
If you are given to anger or unkindness offer it up. These hard, cruel, and wrong conditions of mind never brought you any good; they can never bring you anything but unrest, misery, and spiritual blindness. Nor can they ever bring to others anything but unhappiness. Perhaps you will say: “But he was unkind to me first; he treated me unjustly.” Perhaps so, but what a poor excuse is this! What an unmanly and ineffectual refuge! For if his unkindness toward you is so wrong and hurtful yours to him must be equally so.
Perhaps you are habitually impatient and irritable. Know, then, the hidden sacrifice which it is needful that you should make. Give up your impatience. Overcome it there where it is wont to assert itself. Resolve that you will yield no longer to its tyrannical sway but will conquer it and cast it out. It is not worth keeping a single hour, nor would it dominate you for another moment if you were not labouring under the delusion that the follies and perversities of others render impatience on your part necessary.
Calm, strong, and deliberate action can accomplish much, but impatience and its accompanying irritability are always indications of weakness and inefficiency.
Next post will be the second half of this chapter. Thanks for reading. God bless.