Sunday, January 23, 2011

Counting The Cost Pays Dividends

A number of weeks ago, I was watching a program called Rock Star Wives. In it they interview the wives of rock stars and ask them about how they handle being the “other half” (and in some cases the better half ha ha) of a music superstar. Included in the list of rock families is Twisted Sister’s lead singer Dee Snider and his wife Suzette. Approaching 35 years of marriage, they were asked if Dee ever cheated on his wife while touring with the band. Candid in his response, Snider admitted he’s never shared his bed with another woman. When asked about the driving force behind his commitment, he simply shared that he considered the cost. Fifteen minutes of pleasure is not worth the pain that comes with divorce and separation.

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus speaks of counting the cost. Luke 14 says “…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.” I wonder if this is why many of us fall short of God’s glory. Romans 3:23 says we fall short because each of us has sinned. But that’s not necessarily what I’m talking about. I get that we are all guilty of sin and thus need the grace and mercy of Jesus so we may approach God uninhibited and without shame. I’m referring to those who have already realized they need Jesus and asked him to be Lord of their life cleansing them of the sin and wrongdoing that God frowns upon.

The Christian life has ups and downs. There are many benefits to living the Christian life, but there are also times of struggle. Galatians 5 encourages us to live lives guided by the Holy Spirit. But it also tells us that our body craves the exact opposite. Nonetheless, it is here that the Apostle Paul encourages us to live pure and holy lives. But that’s easier said then done. I find there are things I deal with on a daily basis, which I am continually seeking God’s help with. When I don’t, I fall short and find myself at the foot of the cross asking Jesus to take away my shame.

However, there are times I feel overwhelmed with temptation and I do consider the cost. Doing so helps. It builds my stamina against those “other cravings”. Sometimes I pray through it. Other times I find myself singing an old fashioned hymn. Listening to a sermon, enlisting prayer support from friends, or even delving into one of my devotionals are any number of ways I push through it and come out the other side with my head held high. Don’t forget to count the cost because fifteen minutes of pleasure isn’t worth the lifetime of pain.

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