What was one of your favorite classes in high school? Did you say economics? Maybe not, but let’s go back to that class for a minute.
In economics, you would have heard about opportunity cost. Opportunity cost is defined as the impact of selecting one option instead of another. In other words, it is the cost of choosing one thing when you give up another.
For example, if you have your heart set on taking an awesome family vacation this year, your opportunity costs are the meals with friends, shopping trips, and concert tickets you will have to give up to make sure that vacation becomes a reality. It is your decision whether the opportunity cost is worth it for the item you want.
In God’s economy, there are also opportunity costs to consider when choosing to be His disciple. Luke 14:25–33 gives us some things to consider as we say yes to following Jesus. Like saving for the vacation, we must think through whether it is worth the cost to go “all in” and be a disciple.
We must consider the cost when it comes to:
People (verse 26)—This shocking verse seems out of place as we read the whole of Scripture. Jesus is making a comparison. Is our love for Him so great that it makes our love for family seem like hate? There may be a cost in relationships with family and friends as we choose Jesus. Are we willing to let go?
Position (verse 27)—The punishment of carrying a cross was meant to be humiliating and excruciating. Criminals who received this punishment were publicly rejected by the society around them. When Jesus calls us to carry our cross, He is asking us to consider whether we would give up our social position. Are we willing to be humiliated as we carry out our calling? Have we thought about the social cost to look different, speak different, and act different from the world?
Plans (verses 28–30)—How often are others asking you, “What are your plans? What are you going to do?” It is a question high school and college students often hear. As you think about your future as a disciple of Christ, you must be willing to count the cost of giving up your plans for what God wants you to do if those plans are different. Are you willing to commit to allowing God to finish what He started in you at the moment of salvation?
Pursuits (verses 31–32)—As you know, believers in Christ are in a spiritual battle. The enemy is constantly trying to distract you and defeat you. As you think about being a disciple, you must consider the cost of pursuing the enemy. Are you ready to go to war for the sake of the gospel? Charles Swindoll says, “Half fought battles make no sense.” In other words, be ready to go “all in” when it comes to this battle.
Possessions (verse 33)—This verse sounds like Jesus is asking you to give up the home, the car, and all the “stuff” to follow Him. This verse is not necessarily a command to give it all away, but a willingness to do so if He asks you to. The challenge here is to have a detachment to things we possess. God may ask you to leave it all to follow His plan for you, or He may be asking that you not hold too tightly to what isn’t yours to begin with.
Being a disciple is a costly decision and one that some walked away from in the New Testament and still do today. Are the opportunity costs worth it? Absolutely! God has unbelievable plans in store for those who consider all of the costs and still choose Him.
Christa Skipper is the founder of Gather Box Ministry. Christa, her husband, and four teenage children live in north Georgia. They have a desire to reach people with the gospel as well as equip others to do the same.