This is a republish of an old blog post…

“Sacrifice isn’t sustainable without celebration” I heard this phrase as part of the message at a wedding we were attending as advice for the couple celebrating their marriage. It was an encouragement not to stop celebrating after the special day.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve been particularly exhausted or burned-out recently but this phrase struck me. What a great principle to build your marriage and your life on.

We often give out, we sacrifice time, energy, emotions, finance to help those that we love and care about. We give out so much for our workplace, in our place of study, charities that we help or churches where we serve.

It’s a great thing to give out, to sacrifice some of ourselves for others.

But

It’s not sustainable.

At some point, whether the near or distant future, we run out of fuel for the fire of our souls. We need to top up.

We need to continue to celebrate. It protects us from being worn out, it prevents burnout. A point we’ll all reach unless we do something about it.

An attitude of gratitude needs to be cultivated. When we are grateful we stop roots of bitterness forming and allows us to appreciate what we have.

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

This is an instruction from Paul to give thanks in all circumstance. He doesn’t say give thanks for all circumstances but in all circumstances. There is always something to be grateful for, even if it feels the world is against you, situations are taking a turn for the worst, there is always something to be grateful for. We need to find it and allow gratitude to shape our heart.

The greatest sacrifice in history is when Jesus gave up His life to save the world.

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13

However, even this sacrifice is not without celebration. Jesus indicates that every time someone repents and responds to the salvation which was accomplished through Jesus’ sacrifice there is a party in heaven!

“I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who do not need to repent.” Luke 15:7

We have so much to celebrate.

Look for opportunities to do so. Give thanks that the sun made an appearance today, give thanks after 1 week, 1 month, 1 year in a job, give thanks that you’ve the ability to read this, give thanks that you’re no longer in debt (or that you’re in less debt than previously), give thanks… ok I think you get the idea, whatever the reason, whatever the excuse; give thanks, celebrate!

Let yourself have an evening off, go out for dinner, spend time with someone. Remind yourself that you’re a human being not just a human doing. Celebration will look differently for each of us but if you’re sacrificing allow yourself to celebrate otherwise it won’t be sustainable.

Remembering what God has done, remembering good time with friends and family, remembering important moments keeps the big picture in our mind and stops us getting bogged down in day to day disappointments and hardships.