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08 April 2009

And the Actual Retail Price is...

If someone told you that you could pay them $20 to make your next hour of work -- around the office, the house, at school, or whatever -- more enjoyable, would you take them up on it?

Most mornings I stop by Starbuck's and get a venti White Chocolate Mocha, and I pay $4.70 for it. That's really a lot of money for 15 minutes' worth of enjoyment. I make a conscious decision to trade money for pleasure. The coffee, or the enjoyment it brings, is worth more to me than my $4.70, so I part with my cash in order to get it.

Jesus once said to a large crowd of people following Him, "But don’t begin [to follow Me] until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?" (Luke 14:28, NLT)

I'm not sure many people actually do that. How many of us have made the conscious choice, "Okay, in order to follow Christ, I'm taking everything about me and everything I own and I'm counting it to be absolutely worthless compared to following Jesus. If there's ever a choice between personal pleasure or convenience and following Christ, I'll choose the latter"? Instead, I believe our standardized way of "accepting Jesus" means to most people, "I can now add heaven to the things that I'm entitled to, and going to 'church' will make me feel better about myself."

How many of us really, truly think that it's going to cost us everything to follow Jesus Christ? If we thought that, would we have been willing to make the commitment?

I think a real-world example would be someone doing a cost summary for a prototype project (this is pretty common in Huntsville, AL). The prototype used, let's say, 20 gaskets that were normally $200.00 each, but they were EOL (end-of-life) so the distributor gave them to you for $25.00 each. Your boss tells you to cost them at $2,000 total, but you know your cost was $500. This is pretty black-and-white, and you can do what you know to be right or you can begin to rationalize in this kind of way: "The Bible says, 'Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people,'" so I should look at what my boss says as though it were coming from God, so I'd better cost them at $2,000." Is that the correct course of action?

How in the world could following Jesus possibly cost us everything? If we lived in a country that persecutes Christians, that's easy to see. But how about daily life in America? Is following Christ "costing" you anything? Are you willing for it to cost you your job? Are you willing for it to cost you your health insurance? Your big screen TV?


Leroy said...

"Cost" can be a perception. A simple example, my non-Chrisitian friends, co-workers, etc. may look at me and say "wow, what a boring life you live". That's a cost. To them. Me, I'm very happy and have an exciting life!! No cost at all.

When evaluating the cost of being a Christian, should the 'benchmark' be how *I* feel or does the cost I pay benefit Christ?

Anonymous said...

Or we can look at cost on the other end of the spectrum - when Christ return's - LOOK AT WHAT IT COST ME NOT TO BELIEVE!!!! Separation from GOD.


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