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Making Daily Sacrifices for the Good of Others

During the Vietnam war, a mortar shell hit a Vietnamese orphanage, wounding several children. An American Navy doctor saw that one of the girls needed an immediate blood transfusion. Several unharmed children had the right blood type. Using pidgin Vietnamese, the doctor explained the need for blood and asked if anyone would give it. At first, no one responded. Then a small boy slowly raised his hand. Quickly the doctor swabbed his arm with alcohol, inserted the needle, and withdrew the blood. After it was all over, the boy looked at the doctor and asked, “Now, when do I die?” He thought that giving up his blood would mean that he would die. In spite of this, he was willing to give up his life for the sake of another. What a powerful example of the Lord saying to us that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for a friend. Of course, He can say this because He laid down his life for us. He can urge us to do this sort of thing because He has first done it for us. For most of us, living out this command will not mean physically dying for someone. It will mean the daily sacrifices we make for the good of other people. It will mean denying ourselves what we want for the sake of the welfare of others: our spouse, our children, our neighbors, our friends, even a stranger in need. This is what it means when Christ tells us that we must love one another as He has loved us. As the author Richard Braunstein has said, “It is possible to give without loving, but it is impossible to love without giving.”


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