Since time immemorial people have sacrificed to God, or their version of Him. But did you know that God wants steadfast love, rather than sacrifices? He told it to Israel in Hosea 6:6 and Jesus confirmed it in Matthew 9:12.
When the King walked the Earth He said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:12
What did He mean by desiring mercy, not sacrifice? Was it because He wanted a free response from us, not one given under compulsion?
Have you ever given to people because you have felt pressured to, or because you can’t say no? A yes said compulsively, fearfully, angrily, resentfully, feeling like someone’s prisoner, is not a free yes.
Then you have to hide behind a mask because you don’t have boundaries and you don’t have love.
“Compliants take on too many responsibilities and set too few boundaries – not by choice, but because they are afraid.” – Taken from the book “Boundaries”
Compassionate people are compliant from the inside out. Sacrificial people are compliant on the outside, and resentful on the inside.
God desires our yes to be yes, and our no to be no. Only in having boundaries are we able to do this. The best thing we can give to others, besides love, is boundaries.
Chapter 38 Mercy, not sacrifice tells the story. Most of the material in this chapter comes from the book “Boundaries” by Henry Cloud and John Townsend.