Consider the Cost
This devotional was written by Leslie Snyder
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish it.’” Luke 14:28-30
“In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14: 33
I recently went through training with an excellent instructor in the field of health and fitness. She is well-educated, highly trained, full of experience, holds extremely high expectations, and is brutally honest in her feedback and critique. She readily admits that her forthrightness can be somewhat shocking to those expecting to be coddled, but her goal is not to make her students feel warm and fuzzy. Her goal is to produce the very best instructors in her given field. In fact, she’ll tell you that her ultimate goal is to turn out instructors who are better than she is. With expectations like this, it was no surprise that after the first week of training the number of students was noticeably lower. The cost of completing was just too high.
Jesus was also never known to beat around the bush. In the passage above, Jesus is underscoring the significance of the decision to follow Him. He is not pleading with people to follow Him, nor trying to coax them away from some other leader. If anything, He is making clear the cost of following Him and in a very real sense is giving people a way out if they think the cost is too high. There is no pressure to become disciples, no obligation to keep following, and in this passage, no invitation to begin a new journey. Instead we find a very straightforward conversation about the commitment required to follow; Jesus requires people to follow Him with their entire life for their entire lives. Wow! That’s huge. From what we read later on in Scripture, this theme of completion continued. Philippians 1:6 says, “…being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
We are all a work in progress, called by an invitation from Jesus Himself. Each of us is in different stages of development and on different places on the journey. Called to consider the cost and called to complete the goal. And if completion is the goal, quitting is not an option.
Going Deeper: As a follower of Christ, hang on to the promise of Philippians 1:6. God, not your own power, will carry you on to completion.
Further Reading: 1 Corinthians 9:24
Leslie Snyder is a youth and family ministry veteran currently serving in the Kansas City area with her husband and three kids.