Is there a difference between the thinking of a 20- or 30-something-year-old single male and a 40- or 50-something never-married single male about getting married? I will share some information on that subject in the next article. In the meanwhile, first, view this film clip released by Columbia Pictures in 1955. Then view the conclusion on the HERS page. It is quite humorous.

Man Praying

Count the Cost

By Justin Coleman

“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’? ” – Luke 14:28-30 (NKJV)

The term ‘counting the cost’ is often used to describe giving our whole lives to follow Jesus. We need to lay our whole lives down and be willing to give up anything and everything to follow His will for our lives. That is a good and admirable attitude of the heart. We should have a heart that is willing to sacrifice anything in our lives if that is what is required to follow the path that God has for our lives. After all, Jesus gave His life for us. He bled and died on the cross to save us from our sins. The least we can do is be willing to give Him our life in return. And if following His plan for our lives is different than what we had previously imagined, then we lay down our plans in exchange for His plans. Partially out of an attitude of sacrifice and partially out of an assurance that He loves us more than we love ourselves, and His plan for our lives will turn out much better than our own plans.

In light of all that, the idea of ‘counting the cost’ generally comes with a strong sense of sacrifice. We often only think of it in terms of us giving up something. There is truth in that, but I want to give a different perspective. If we look at the example Jesus used in Luke 14:28-30, it doesn’t really paint a picture of sacrifice, even though the larger context of this passage does speak of sacrifice. The builders working on a tower aren’t sacrificing to build the tower. They are planning and preparing. They are counting the cost. What are the resources needed to complete the tower? How much money is needed? How many workers? etc.

There is much preparation and planning that needs to take place. Think of when skyscrapers are built. Do they start digging and laying a foundation before they have blueprints? No, they do all the planning months and years in advance. The cost is counted and the appropriate amount of money and labor is planned and prepared in advance. Once all of those aspects are solidified THEN the first stage of the building process is started. If they started laying a foundation without having the money to finish the building, the whole project could end in disaster and the company’s reputation could be ruined.

The same can be seen in our personal lives. Imagine you are at the gym. You are walking on the treadmill. The person next to you has their treadmill at a slight incline and is moving at a brisk pace. You ask them what brings them to the gym, and they say, ‘I want to lose 10 lbs this year, so I come a couple of days a week’. You might nod and think that seems reasonable. They have counted the cost, and their preparation and planning are in line with what they want to accomplish. But, what if their answer was, ‘I am in training for the Olympics. I am going to break the world record in the 200-meter dash, so I come to the gym to walk on the treadmill for 15 minutes twice a week’. You may have to fight the urge to burst out in laughter.

That person has a lofty goal, but they have not counted the cost. They don’t understand the amount of dedication, effort, and planning that is needed to be an Olympic athlete. Because they have not counted the cost accurately, their plans are doomed to end in disappointment. Have you experienced that in your life? Have you ever had lofty dreams but failed to understand what is necessary to see them come to pass?

Our passage in Luke gives us a good piece of wisdom. You may have a dream in your heart that is from God. You might know what He has called you to do in life, but have you taken the time to understand what it will cost to walk that path? How much time and commitment will that dream require? How will that dream mold and shape the path your life takes? Just as God will put a dream in your heart, He will also give you the wisdom and grace to follow that dream. The first step in counting the cost is to ask for wisdom. James tells us that He will give wisdom freely to those who ask.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” – James 1:5 (NKJV)