There is a cost factor in everything that we do. If we want to go on holiday, there’s the financial expense. If we want to build friendships, there’s the time and effort, and the need to share something of ourselves. And if we want to belong to a club or organisation, then there’s the membership fee, and the need to be willing to abide by the rules.
It shouldn’t come as any surprise, then, to realise that there is a cost factor when it comes to the Christian faith too. There’s a cost factor involved in deciding to put Jesus first. There’s a cost factor involved in the need to grow spiritually, and in the need to leave some of the things that we love behind. And there’s a cost factor regarding the need to share our faith.
As a consequence, being a believer, is not a simple thing to be. Indeed, it can be very costly. Which is why, when we read the story of the three men—who made such wonderful statements of allegiance to Jesus—we can wonder whether they really understood what following Jesus was about at all.
Because the statements that they made were just that—mere statements. And Jesus saw through them straight away. Indeed, none of them were prepared to pay the cost. None of them were prepared to pay anything but lip service to following Jesus.
And in that, is a lesson to us all. Because just as Jesus made a call on each of those men’s lives—and they responded with wonderful statements—so too does he make a call on ours. But what is our response? And will we be guilty of only paying lip service too?
Because it seems to me that we have three choices. Firstly, we can reject the call of Jesus out of hand and relieve ourselves of any pretence. And if we do that, we can just go on living as if a relationship with God doesn’t matter. Secondly, we can pay lip service to the call of Jesus, and we can pretend to be his followers. But in the end the result will be the same. Or thirdly, we can take a risk, accept Jesus’ challenge and go wherever he takes us. We can then trust in God to do the rest.
Of course, each of the options comes at a cost. And a cost with which we may not be totally comfortable. But that’s faith. The only real issue is: What price are we prepared to pay?
Posted: 18th February 2018
© 2018, Brian A Curtis