For my own part, I have never ceased to rejoice that God has appointed me to such an office.

People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa.

Can that be called a sacrifice which is simply paid back as a small part of a great debt owing to our God, which we can never repay?

Is that a sacrifice which brings its own blest reward in healthful activity, the consciousness of doing good, peace of mind, and a bright hope of a glorious destiny hereafter?

Away with the word in such a view, and with such a thought! It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege.

Anxiety, sickness, suffering, or danger, now and then, with a foregoing of the common conveniences and charities of this life, may make us pause, and cause the spirit to waver, and the soul to sink; but let this only be for a moment. All these are nothing when compared with the glory which shall be revealed in and for us.

I never made a sacrifice.

- African missionary David Livingstone, Cambridge University, December 4, 1857.

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4 thoughts on “I Never Made a Sacrifice”

  1. Now that was great to wake up to today!!! God bless.

  2. Trevin,

    As much as I appreciate your edifying comments online I must suggest that Livingstone is not the best example to point to, even if this quotation seems uplifting. Here’s why:

    – Much of Livingstone’s work was thinly disguised imperialism, attempting to expand the influence (and religion) of Great Britain.

    – None of our service to God should EVER be done as an attempt to “repay” our debt to God. This is an insult to the magnitude of His grace.

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Trevin Wax


​Trevin Wax is managing editor of The Gospel Project at LifeWay Christian Resources, husband to Corina, father to Timothy, Julia, and David. You can follow him on Twitter. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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