While each of these is profound, let's consider the last one on Gandhi's list. Can there be religion without sacrifice?
Stephen Covey, in his book Principle-Centered Leadership, writes, "Sadly, many people want 'religion' or at least the appearance of it, without any sacrifice… [But] it takes sacrifice to serve the needs of other people—the sacrifice of our own pride and prejudice, among other things."
Without sacrifice, Stephen Covey further writes, you can't have unity: "Pride and selfishness will destroy the union between man and God, between man and woman, between man and man, between self and self."
Can there be religion without sacrifice? No, I think not. In fact, the foundation of our relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ is made possible by sacrifice. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
It is through this supreme sacrifice of His Son that God demonstrates His ultimate love for us. Clearly, God first loved us, and God desires our love in return. It is through God's example and perfect expression of love and sacrifice that we learn how to love.
In 1 John 3:16 we read, "By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."
Again, can there be religion without sacrifice? Can we worship God without sacrifice? For that matter, can one love without sacrifice? The answer, of course, to all three questions is no. True religion, true worship and true love require sacrifice.
Jesus Christ laid down His life for us, and God expects the same from us.
Paul urges us—beseeches us—to "offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship" (Romans 12:1, New International Version). Worship demands sacrifice from us, that is, the daily giving and submitting of our lives to God.
Religion, worship and love require sacrifice. They require the giving of our whole life in service to God and each other. God is waiting patiently for us to do just that—to sacrifice our time, our treasures, our short lives in service to Him and to each other. When we do, we will please God with our sacrifice. UN