My wife’s niece and her husband were in search of a new car. They knew what they wanted and sat down with a salesman to discuss cost. The salesman began with the question, “How much can you afford to pay per month?” or something of that nature. They told him the monthly payments were not the issue, the total price was. And for an hour or so the salesman skirted the issue of what the car was going to cost. They finally got up and walked out, never having got the answer to the question.
I have a friend whose young daughter got her first job outside the home, drawing a regular paycheck.
One day shortly after, he was talking with her and she had in her hand a cup of coffee purchased from a “named” coffee house. I call them designer coffees and they can be quite expensive. He asked her “How long did you have to work to pay for that cup of coffee?” Nothing else, just that.
In both cases and many more I’m sure all of us can come up with, there is an underlying principle about knowing what the cost is.
Yeshua spoke of counting cost and the consequences of not doing so.
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Don’t you sit down and estimate the cost, to see if you have enough capital to complete it? If you don’t, then when you have laid the foundation but can’t finish, all the on lookers start making fun of you and say, ‘This is the man who began to build, but couldn’t finish!’” Luke 14:38-30 CJB.
“Or again, suppose one king is going out to wage war with another king. Doesn’t he first sit down and consider whether he, with his ten thousand troops, has enough strength to meet the other one, who is coming against him with twenty thousand?” Luke 14:31 CJB.
In both cases the spoken question is doesn’t one sit down and consider if what they want is something they have resources for, something they can be sure they can do.
This seems common “sense-ical” but the fact that He speaks this way is because people don’t always think things through and evaluate. Do they have resources? Do they have the skills? Is this really something worth the cost? Will it require others being involved and is it fair to expect them to obligate or feel obligated to achieve something we want for our own personal purposes?
I think that one of the things Jesus’ words are meant to do is motivate us to think about value and do we agree that the cost is worth paying, because in exchange for one thing we are going to give in return something that we hold valuable. After the time and energy and sacrifice, however great or small, was it worth it all, are we satisfied? And how lasting will that satisfaction be?
Since He is the author and teacher of this principle it makes sense that He would also live by it.
Consider, in realms of glory, all powerful, Yeshua, the executer of His Father’s will, counts the cost of bringing His creation into intimate fellowship, oneness with Him and then does it. He thought about it and determined that it was worth it.
How should that make us feel? How we must be desired. How great a worth must we have.
These two practical examples to be used in our everyday lives that aid in being wise about what we work for and the decisions we make, are sandwiched between words whose intent are to let us know, ahead of time, before we make a decision, what the cost is, to be His disciples. He wants us to know the true cost and upon considering it be willing to pay it…because we desire Him, because He is worthy of it.
This, to Him, is true love, one He can trust in, take pleasure in and be satisfied in.
This is the gift we have to give that is of value and acceptable.
Father, help us to know and agree that to be Your disciple doesn’t mean that we have hate in our hearts towards Your creation or Your created ones, however close to us or far. For in You we are able to care and love them even better, even more.
May we hate, have little regard for, not consider, that or those whose relationship to us would separate us from the One who is the source of that love we have for them even so, and enables us to continue in that love for them.
Father thank You for Your truth and honesty in Your dealings with us.
In Yeshua’s name we pray,
May God’s love be in us all.