Skill DevelopmentAs you grow in the Lord and become more skilled and effective at sharing salvation and the Word of God, attacks will undoubtedly come your way. They will range from disparaging remarks to unwarranted treatment to physical attacks. Therefore, the Lord has given us a heads up to prepare.
When we pray for wisdom, we learned in the article Praying for Wisdom... Debunked?, that trouble does not come because we asked for wisdom. We pray for wisdom because of the things that are already headed our way. In the same manner, counting the cost does not bring persecution. It prepares us for the things already in our path.
Praying for wisdom and counting the cost are principles that are proactive, just like Jesus was proactive. Grab this concept and own it.
If we want to grow in our relationship with the Lord we must count the cost of what that relationship will mean.
An Example To IllustrateImagine your boss dealt with someone on the team inappropriately and you feel moved to confront your boss on the matter. Do you risk confronting him to straighten it out? Maybe not. The easy out is just to say nothing. Do you keep quiet to avoid consequences?
What if there are "witnesses" that also misunderstood what the accused had done and to speak up would now put you at odds with your peers as well? Do you stand up and clarify the truth and risk weeks if not months of being on the "outside" with your boss and your peers?
If you stand up for someone else or yourself in this manner have you thoughtfully evaluated and accepted what it will cost you? Can you accept standing up for the truth when the consequence can be avoided by saying nothing?
Well that's a real situation and there are many others that are difficult to imagine until you are the one in the middle of it. Once we begin to share the Word we will begin to find ourselves in similar precarious situations.
Before we get there, we need to evaluate and understand what it will cost us. Then determine if we are willing to accept that cost.
Jesus Said It BestThe following is a fantastic scripture putting the concept of counting the cost into perspective. Clearly, dealing with and upholding the truth will be costly for you. I do not have the words to more clearly explain this concept. I turn the floor over to our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. :-)
A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.
“But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’
“Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.
“Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? Flavorless salt is good neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. It is thrown away. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!” - Luke 14:25-34 NLT
Coming to the truth of a matter in many cases forces us to be galvanized in our thought process so we can deal with it. If we have not counted the cost we have the opportunity to miss the truth.
Counting The Cost In Three Parts
- Thoughtfully consider what it will cost you to stand by the truth.
- Prepare your mind for consequences.
- Decide to accept or not accept the cost and follow through accordingly.
Is counting the cost a scary concept?
You bet it is! That is if you do not take it seriously. Take the steps of faith our Father has given us and lay a foundation that can stand against the horrible things of this life.
Take it one step at a time. Start with the small things. Work your way up to the bigger challenges. If you fail, reevaluate, bring it to the Lord in prayer and start the process of counting the cost once again. The Lord is building you up and we know even Paul had everyone praying for boldness for him. :-) The fortitude is in you. Grow into its fullness.
Do you feel like you have the fortitude?
Whether you feel it or not, start believing it because it is in you. It is the core of who you are. You may not have "went there" yet but you can when you choose to.
Gather a few scriptures on your strength here at BibleStudyTools.com. Do a quick review of who you are in the Lord and read, You Must Seize This One Reality!
Please, add your thoughts in the comment section.