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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Learning How to Count the Cost Before Committing

In review of Proverbs 20:25 it says, “It is foolish and rash to make a promise to the Lord before counting the cost.”

Bottom Line:
It is foolish to make a promise before carefully considering all of the costs.

What this means to me:
I shouldn’t allow myself to fall into the trap of making a promise, especially to the Lord, without really considering the full cost of that promise to myself and the life of those around me.

Whenever there is a major decision to make, Scripture reminds me to count the cost: “It is foolish and rash to make a promise to the Lord before counting the cost” (Proverbs 20:25 TLB).

Every decision has a price tag. So I need to consider what my decision will cost in four areas of my life: time, money, energy, and relationships.

What I’m learning is that it’s ok to not commit immediately to anything, but rather tell others, “I’ll get back to you.” It is OK to ponder and count the full cost. I shouldn’t allow myself to be pressured, because there is a law of life that Proverbs and Ecclesiastes teach: It’s always easier to get in than get out.

For instance, it’s easier to get in debt than out of debt. It’s easier to get into a relationship than out of a relationship. It’s easier to fill your schedule than fulfill your schedule. And it’s always easier to get in than get out.

Luke 14:28-29 reminds me that, “If you want to build a tower, you first sit down and decide how much it will cost, to see if you have enough money to finish the job. If you don’t, you might lay the foundation, but you would not be able to finish. Then all who would see it would make fun of you” (NCV).

So a key question to ask when I’m making a major decision: Is it worth the cost to me? And then count that cost before I ever commit.

One area I don’t always consider is how much energy it will take to fulfill the commitment I’m making. Making a commitment can zap any of my available energy.

However, being a natural “people pleaser” it’s not always easy for me to tell other to “Let me think about it”. Sometimes I think they will just pressure me even further, however this is only a projection I place and not necessarily what they may say. I just don’t give them the chance.

In summary I’m thinking I should consider what kind of decisions would constitute making a significant investment in cost worth it to me? So, in my brief time this morning, what comes to mind are the things that will further the kingdom and his purposes.  In my life I have plenty of examples where people I know have made significant decisions that have cost them, however, these decisions have helped them make a difference for the kingdom.  I should look to their examples and outcomes as I make these kinds of kingdom commitments.