Blog & Pastor Letters

Counting the Cost with Jesus

09-08-2019Weekly ReflectionRev. Victor C. Yakubu

The choices we make produce either a positive or a negative result. No persons in their right mind allows negative results to dominate their actions unless they are sociopathic. When you experience pain and sadness due to your bad choices, you may reconsider adjusting the kind of choices you make. When you continue to make mistakes and suffer negatively as a result of your choices, you refuse to count the cost of what you are doing. At the end of the day, you may harm yourself and produce a habit that becomes part of your behavior as a human being.

What makes a man or woman to say, 'I carry my cross by myself'? When you hear this, it means that the person is taking responsibility for their actions, or they are suffering alone with no support. Human life is experienced differently, and every human being must understand the consequences of their decisions. Jesus says, "Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion?" Jesus is advising us to weigh the cost of our decisions before we delve into the wrong venture. And he advises that before you go to war with an enemy, count the number of troops that can give you a win. In making the wrong move, you suffer greatly for making the wrong choices.

God gives to every individual a second chance to make amendments. It is as if God gives to every individual the chance to return to their rightful senses and try again to change their negative attitude and not be sociopathic. What we must remember about human life is that all of us make mistakes due to inexperience and lack of adequate information at a certain time. When we become matured and gain more knowledge then we look back and laugh at our folly. Many of us have done this several times after the years have gone by. This is the way of the world. This is how life treats us. However, we must remember that Jesus knows about this, and so he gives us a chance to receive new life through his teachings. He wants us to change our behavior and be children of the light. He is always available to listen to your complaints and your stories of sorrows and pain. He can empathize with you and be your friend. He wants to count with you the number of times you carried your cross alone so that he can join you in your battles of life.

Let us take an example from the life of St. Paul. He made many mistakes in his life. He realized his weaknesses as a man, and he set out to warn others. His letters to all the churches he visited contain useful information about how to live the Christian life. Even today our churches read them to get a good perspective on how to be better Christians. Individually we can read them and understand what God wants from us.

As an old man, Paul did not want Onesimus, a young man, to head the wrong direction. He wrote a few words to him admonishing him to stay away from evil and embrace the good life. Paul pleaded with Philemon to take Onesimus back not as a slave but an equal partner. Paul wanted Philemon to change his behavior and reconsider taking Onesimus back "so that the good you do might not be forced but voluntary." When you do anything out of compulsion, the consequences are better imagined. However, voluntary actions based on rightful choice can bear fruits in the right direction.

The Christians of today may feel the loneliness of following Jesus. They may even feel as if God does not answer prayers or listen to their complaints. But God is alive and always patient with us because he is God. He loves us so much that he sent to us Jesus to save us from our sins. He wants to take away our iniquities and give us the right mind to follow God our Father.

We can learn so much for our spiritual lives. God is asking us to consider counting the cost of everything before we make wrongful choices. This applies to every action of human life including the tiny facets of our lives. The Bible is clear on this, 'before you build count the cost' and 'before you go to war, count your troops'. The joy of life is that when you act rightly, you win. There is hope if you can count ten mistakes in your live; Jesus wants you back with one positive decision right away. Will you reconsider changing your negative actions before it is too late? Keep praying!