This verse is always brought up to teach us about the importance of managing our money. It is easy to see why. Common sense says that when you are planning to build something you need to make sure that you have enough to complete it. If you don’t then you will be an example of how you ought NOT to do things. So, I will echo the admonishment of many who have gone before me. Save your money and make sure you have what you need before you build something. I don’t think that is the whole lesson though.
The word “cost” is what slowed me down as I read this verse yesterday. When I buy something I pay a price, but cost is something different. Cost is what it takes to produce something. It is not just a financial term. A cost contains resources, time, knowledge, overhead, transportation, research, design, and not just a few other little things. Those costs will help you to determine a price, but even then, the price may not be equal to the cost. At times things will be sold for a huge profit, but there are other things that are almost always sold below cost. Price is volatile, cost moves slowly. You can have an item on a shelf and change its price, but you did not change its cost. Confused yet?
Counting the Cost
The picture at the top of this post shows a man who was committed to his cause. I think of another Man who was committed to His cause as well. We are about to celebrate His resurrection on Easter.
Jesus Christ counted the cost before He came to earth as a child to live, love, and then be killed by those He came to save. He knew what would be required of Him. He knew there would be times of great joy, and there would be times of pain before His ultimate death, but He decided the cost was worth it because we were worth it.
What are we as men, husbands, and fathers required to be committed to? What is the cost we must face? Is it to put aside our plans for a weekend? Is it to put off spending money on something we wanted to own? Let’s face it, we live a pretty easy life compared to the one that Christ was called to live. He is my example of commitment. He is the reason I stand and proudly say I love my wife and my kids. He is my example of servant leadership that drives me to give my family what they need of me.
I don’t always get it right. I’m not Christ. I fail. I mess up. You wanna know something? That is all factored into the cost! No matter if I am getting it right or not, I am not giving up. My failures, while not pleasant, are expected, and I don’t have to dwell on them. I learn from them and I move forward stronger, smarter, and better equipped to help someone else with the same thing.
In February 1519, Hernando Cortez set sail on the final leg of an ocean voyage that was to take him from Cuba to the distant shores of the Yucatan. He commanded 11 ships with more than 500 soldiers, 100 sailors, and 16 horses, bound for Mexico to take the world’s greatest treasure. The rare jewels, gold, silver, and sculptures sheltered on the Yucatan had been hoarded by the same army for 600 years.
Cortez had heard of riches of the Yucatan. With his men they arrived on shore. They did not go and take the treasure immediately, they waited until they were ready.
Then Cortez told his men to “Burn the boats.”
The men were outraged wondering how they were going to get back to their families! Cortez told them to burn the boats and they would conquer the Yucatan army and gain their fortune. They would take the Yucatan’s boats home.
So often, we give ourselves a back-up plan. We want to make sure that we have something to fall back on if things go wrong. NO! You see, by giving yourself a back-up plan, that becomes the plan.
Commitment means there is no turning back. Success is the only answer, and there is no alternative that is acceptable. This is the cost that must be counted in our families today.
People today are getting married with the thought “I hope this works” in their hearts and minds. I think that is just sad. Tammi and I committed to each other that we will never give up on our marriage. We made this promise to each other, but more importantly to our heavenly Father, and we are not going to go back on that promise. We’ve joked that murder is still an option, but never divorce.
Commitment is being all in, no matter what happens. As life hits us time and again we have to get back up. It is not for ourselves, but for those we are responsible for. I’m here for my wife, for my kids, and for my grandkids to come! I want them all to look back and see the legacy of commitment that has been left for them. It is vital in our families because it is so lacking today in our world.
I hope that anyone who might be reading this and is feeling discouraged can hang on to at least one thing I said. That would be that Christ counted the cost of your salvation as a price that He was willing to pay. He would do it again for you tomorrow, and if you would like to know more about why He would have been willing to do that for you, please reach out to me and I would love to share more about it with you.
In HIS Grip,