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Don’t Let Your Sacrifice Become Your Downfall

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Don’t Let Your Sacrifice Become Your Downfall

William Stanford loved working at the church. Everyday he stopped by there on his way home from the factory. It seemed like there were always little things that he could fix or clean.

  • He repaired cracked window panes.
  • He pulled weeds in the flowerbed.
  • He replaced burnt out light bulbs.
  • He mowed the grass.
  • He picked up trash around the property.
  • He raked the fallen leaves.
  • He kept the baptismal tank clean and full.
  • He stacked all the songbooks on their shelf.

Bro. Bill did all of this without pay. He held no official job at the church. It felt rewarding to him to know that whatever he did, it was for God. This was God’s house. No one ever asked him to fix anything. He just did it on his own. He looked around for things to do, and when he found a need, he was quick to respond.

His wife and family understood. They knew that he would always be late coming home from work. If he wasn’t at work or at home… he could be found at the church.

One year Bill decided not to go on his yearly family vacation to Fort Lauderdale for their boat trip like they used to do, instead he took the money and bought shingles for the church roof and spent his two weeks vacation time re-roofing the church by himself.

No one had asked him or even hinted. He just saw a need and did what he thought should be done. Sacrifice was never an issue for Bill Stanford. He had done this for years.

One Sunday the pastor announced a church business meeting. A trustee had died and the vacant position needed to be filled.

To William Stanford’s surprise, his name never came up at the business meeting for consideration. Another brother in the church was chosen and with a great majority, was ratified.

Bill was crestfallen. After all the hard labor, day after day, and week after week… this was the thanks he got! His labor was not appreciated.

  • Bill quit church.
  • Bill really quit church.
  • Bill turned his back on church.
  • Bill never came back to church.

He let his sacrifice become his downfall. He let what he did for God turn into nothing if others didn’t appreciate and honor it too.


Joyce Watkins heard the pastor mention the need for 20 new tables and 160 folding chairs for the fellowship hall. She approached the pastor after service and asked him how much it would cost. When he told her, she pulled out her checkbook and wrote him a check for that amount.

The pastor was very thankful and the new tables and chairs were delivered almost immediately.

The next week, Joyce left for her vacation and was gone for three weeks. When she came back home and went to church. What she saw angered her.

In attempting to clean the fellowship hall, someone had stacked the new tables and chairs in a manner that Joyce did not approve. She told several people how unhappy she was that her tables had been treated that way.

  • Joyce quit church.
  • Joyce really quit church.
  • Joyce turned her back on church.
  • Joyce never came back to church.

Joyce also made a cardinal mistake in living for God. She let her sacrifice become her downfall. She couldn’t grasp the idea that those tables and chairs were no longer hers. They now belonged to God.


To my gentle reader, I thank you for what you are doing for God. Your sacrifice should always be just for God. If we wait for men to appreciate our sacrifice for God, it may quickly turn into our downfall. May we learn from Bill and Joyce.

Col. 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;


Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 23, 2010 at 9:26 am

5 Responses

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  1. Yes Pastor, I have observed these types of actions more than once in my short life.
    You must STILL allow your sacrifice to be consumed by fire. Then it no longer yours.

    Just my thought;


    June 23, 2010 at 10:23 am

  2. The verse at the close of this excellent article says it all. The root of bitterness is most insidious and can destroy all prior sacrifices.

    Here’s an example of doing it right! Note that two men were considered to replace Judas Iscariot in the first chapter of Acts. One (Barsabbas) was not chosen. I guess he could have become bitter and felt slighted. But in Acts 15, we meet him again. There, Barsabbas is chosen to represent the Jerusalem council (along with Silas) in delivering/presenting their letter of instruction to the Gentiles. A significant comment is made concerning these two men… “chief men among the brethren.”

    Marjorie Kinnee

    June 23, 2010 at 10:56 am

  3. How do you do it? Post after post…incredible!


    June 23, 2010 at 11:27 am

  4. I’ve seen it. This is an incredible post, brought to a close with the verse that is key to it all.

    Mark Pryor

    June 23, 2010 at 6:40 pm

  5. thank you again for speaking the truth on key issues!! wonderful as usual.


    June 23, 2010 at 10:59 pm

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