7 Everyone should give whatever they have decided in their heart. They shouldn’t give with hesitation or because of pressure. God loves a cheerful giver. 8 God has the power to provide you with more than enough of every kind of grace. That way, you will have everything you need always and in everything to provide more than enough for every kind of good work. 9 As it is written, He scattered everywhere; he gave to the needy; his righteousness remains forever. 2 Corinthians 9:7-9, CEB
(We’re in the middle of a series on sacrifice for people in recovery that starts on Day 1. Get caught up or you may feel lost.)
One of the things I find quite troubling in the church is the way in which we talk about sacrifice. People talk about the importance of “carrying your cross” and, as far as I can tell, this usually means having a joyless life because you are forever over extended because you’re too busy doing things for others. Sacrifice means never saying “no” and never considering your own needs. It means, essentially, not having a self.
This doesn’t jive with recovery (and I don’t think it’s what the Bible is actually teaching either). We learn, in recovery from codependency, not to define ourselves by the level of reliance another person has on us. We learn to stop making certain kinds of sacrifices and we learn the power of the word “no” and we find in that space some freedom, some peace, and even some joy, as we discover that we can let go of that which we can’t control.
So, how does this align with a faith that preaches the importance of self-sacrificial love for the sake of others? More tomorrow.