A Costly Affair

Read Luke 14:25-35

ALSO IN SCRIPTURE

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14, NRSV)

I remember in the town I grew up in there was a business person who was going to build a mall.  He bought up the land, tore down trees and removed the unwanted rocks.  All was in the clear and ready to go.  But there was just one problem, he didn’t count the cost and ended up running short of funds.  His entire business went bankrupt and he, obviously, had to cease construction on the land he had built.

I can remember the huge disappointment I experienced as a kid.  I mean, what kid wouldn’t want a mall in his or her own town, and this mall was going to include a movie theater too! How rockin’ would that have been? But now, there wasn’t going to be any such mall.  I would have to continue on lingering on in the realm of “what could’ve been” all because this guy did not count the cost and lost everything in the process.

While I would not be excited to have a mall built in my town today (after all I can drive now), I think this story bears relevance for us all.  How often do we enter into things without really counting the cost?  This happens no more than in our faith journey. We all want to feel accepted, we all want to feel loved, we all want to be forgiven, we all want to be a part of a community-but we all definitely love the price of FREE.

The problem is that nothing comes without a cost.  While God’s grace is certainly free for the taking, there is a cost for taking it.  If we truly accept the grace of God we will change from who we were to who God wants us to be. We will become disciples; we will become a people in motion, a people who hold the love of neighbor in the same regard as the love of self, a people who endure—in service to other—until the end.

It goes without saying that there is also a cost for not accepting God’s grace.  Just take a look at the world around you.  Look at the wars, the famine, the disease, the hopelessness that can be found ad infinitum on any self-respecting 24 hour news channel.  People are rejecting God’s grace everyday and, in turn, they are going about their lives looking out for numero uno.

Life in general is a costly affair, and every choice we make in life bears a heavy cost. The question is not whether you will end up paying a cost, but which cost are you willing to pay? You will pay one regardless. Will the cost you pay be one that is self-motivated and self-centered? Or will you pay the cost of being a bearer of God’s grace? If you choose the latter, know that it will cost you your time, your talents, your tithes and, most of all, YOUR PRESENCE. But do not be deceived that the “easier” way is any less costly. Count the cost.

THOUGHT OF THE DAY

What appears to be easy often turns out worse than what we considered to be hard.

PRAYER

Lord, help me to count the cost of following you and weigh it against the cost of being your disciple.  Use me as a bearer of your Grace and guide me ever toward your will. Amen.

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