That day is best wherein we give
A thought to others' sorrows;
Forgetting self, we learn to live,
And blessings born of kindly deeds
Make golden our tomorrows.
Howe'er it seems to me
'Tis only noble to be good;
Kind hearts are more than coronet
And simple faith than Norman blood.
Sir Alfred Tennyson
"And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased" (Hebrews 13:16).
"Let the weakest, let the humblest remember, that in his daily course he can, if he will, shed around him almost a heaven. Kindly words, sympathizing attentions, watchfulness against wounding men's sensitiveness these cost very little, but they are priceless in their value. Are they not almost the staple of our daily happiness? From hour to hour, from moment to moment, we are supported, blest, by small kindnesses." (F.W. Robertson, Daily Strength for Daily Needs.)
The word "sacrifices" is interesting in this context, for it is indeed a sacrifice, an offering, a price, that we surrender. It is part of our time or our money or our very selves that we give to another, not for what we can get in return, but out of God's love and our own. We will never know what comfort we bring to another just by listening. Many a broken heart and weary mind wants to divide his or her sorrows, and only the one who knows how to love as Christ loves can carry that burden for another.
To do good means to promote the welfare and happiness of another and to help prevent misfortune or adversity. We honor God by honoring His commandment to love others as we love ourselves. This is the "sacrifice" with which He is so well pleased. He does not delight in self torture of either body or mind. He does delight in innocent pleasures that restore the body and mind and spirit, and help us to help others because our own lives are in harmony.
The greatest sacrifice was the Lamb of God who died that we might be at one with all. He has cancelled out our debts and their effects; all we need to do is to surrender our whole selves to Him who wills to use us where we are most needed. It may be only a cup of cold water in His name, but it is a great kindness to the one who so desperately needs it.