Count the Cost

Each day we make choices and decisions.  What to eat for breakfast, to speed or go the speed limit, to be kind to others, or have a chip on your shoulder?  Every decision that we make comes at a cost.  Sometimes the cost is obvious, we chose to buy a product and it’s lowered the balance of our bank account, we make a business decision that has a tangible financial cost to it.  Yet every one of our decisions comes at a cost.  Treating your co-workers with kindness or with cruelty may inform their perspective of Christians.  Working overtime everyday takes a physical and emotional toll on you as well as friends and family closest to you.  All our choices have an effect on both ourselves as well as those around us.

Have you ever thought about being a follower of Jesus as one of those choices that we have to make?  Jesus talked very bluntly with his followers about this importance choice and its effect on their lives.  Jesus used this analogy, “”For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him.” (Luke 14:28-29, ESV)  Jesus challenge to the disciples is count the cost.  That each of their decisions as a follower of Christ has consequences, and they have better thought through the long term consequences of their actions, not just the immediate ones.

Yet as we read this we often think of the big decisions, buying a home, a car, starting a family and more, but it is not just the big decisions that we need to be thinking about, or as Bishop T.D. Jakes puts it, “The costliest decision that you ever make for your business, church, or family may the decision that you chose not to make.”  Perhaps the most costly decision with investing money would be not selling a stock off and keeping things just as they were, and losing thousands.  You notice your lifestyle is leading to weigh gain, but changing would be so hard so you don’t, until you gain 40 pounds, and find out the cost of losing those 40 pounds.

As follower of Christ we are regularly asked to make decisions, some for change, and some to keep things the same.  Jesus reminder in this passage is that as we weigh decisions that we need to count the cost.  To change nothing comes at a cost, sometimes even higher than to change everything with weigh loss, investments, and our faith and church.  As we continue to seek the Spirit’s leading for our work and ministry this is a central question that we each need to wrestle with.  What is the cost of this?  How does this affect others at church, in my family, and at work?  Jesus call here is that mature and responsible disciples make sure they understand the consequences of their choices before they are made.  Because sometimes the costliest, most painful decision that causes the most loss, is the decision to do and change nothing, to remain on the same path.