The Cost of Living!
We are living in a time where just about everything costs. Obtaining your education cost; promotions on your job cost; decisions we make in life cost; even sometimes NOT doing anything can cost you. Subsequently, there is a term that is used in economics that calculates what is needed to sustain a certain level of living, such as housing, food, taxes, and healthcare we term as “the cost of living”. We can use this same term for those who choose to live the Christian life. Yes, Salvation is free but everything else cost.
I’m reminded of the story in St. Luke 14:25-33 where there was a great multitude of people following Jesus. People knew that he was different because he was able to do things that nobody else could do. But Jesus knew that some of the people following him were because of what he could do; not because he was the Son of God. So Jesus tells the people to “count up the cost”. Choose to live your life the way you want to live it or live it the way he wants you to live it. You must be willing to say yes to his way! You must be willing to surrender your will, your desires, your hopes, and your dreams, to the will of Christ. This is a high cost, but it is worth the investment. Matthews 16:25(b) says and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Jesus also likened this choice like as a builder; he says “before a man builds a tower, he must count up the cost because a wise builder does not start a project unless he knows he has what it takes to finish the job. What he is saying, before you commit to following him, make sure you have added up the cost and you are committed. What will it cost you? It may cost you friends, family, positions, etc.; in other words, anything that will keep you from wholly following Jesus.
It’s as if you are participating in a Marathon. Before the day arrives, preparation will cost you time, money and training to get your mind and body fit; to pay entry fees and purchase proper clothing to wear. You have to give up things you enjoy in order to focus and spend time training for the race. When the day arrives and the alarm goes off you start your walk or run, anticipating crossing the finish line from the beginning. But during the event, you sweat; you get tired; you get angry; you may change your pace; you may have to take a detour; and you may have to go up hills and down slopes; but you keep on walking and running because your goal is to walk or run across the finish line. It was worth the preparation you took to be in the race.
This is the same way with living for Christ. When you give your life over to him, you are automatically in the race of life and at times things will happen to you that will make it hard and difficult. Eccl.9:11-12 (paraphrasing) for the race is not given to the swift, nor to the strong, but to him that endures to the end. Jesus feels the same way with us, which is why he went to the cross to pay for our sins. During the battle in his mind in the garden of Gethsemane; he finally said “not my will, but thy will be done”. He counted up the cost for us that we may have the right to the tree of life and decided that “the cost of living” for us was worth the price for we are walking by faith on This Journey!
Evg. Cynthia R. Bennett