Luke 14:28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost?” The other day I asked one of our CEOs if he had any prayer requests. He operates his company in an emerging market where common business practices would be seen as outright fraud in the west. He replied “Always need supernatural help to get level playing field. We’re always fighting uphill cause of what we’re willing (or not willing) to do… It’s a real competitive disadvantage – if we could do what others were willing to do we’d get things done much faster and cheaper.” I told him that in the short term it might feel like doing the right thing bears a significant cost. You can get ahead by hurting people and the planet in the short term, but I believe that catches up with you eventually. When you take the high road, it might be a bit slower, but you gain the trust of people and of God, and that always leads to better results. This CEO has refused to bend, and it’s felt like a significant cost. But his company is now the market leader and still growing faster than any of his competitors. In the long term the trade is a no-brainer. Jesus told the crowd in Luke 14 to count the cost. That wasn’t to deter them from following him, but to illustrate that the rewards for giving up everything to do the right thing are THAT great. So today I face a number of situations in my life that seem like life-and-death short term costs. My wife was hospitalized last week, my friend is in a coma and my dad’s cancer has progressed to stage 4. As I prayed this morning I felt God remind me of his goodness, and then ask me the following. “If you really know that I am a good, then you know that the reward to come from these costly situations are more than worthwhile in the long term. Rather than fixating on short term relief, are you willing to focus on trusting my plan?”
Lord, sometimes doing the right thing involves a painful business deal. Sometimes it involves sacrificing earthly possessions for your church. But sometimes it’s as simple as changing my perspective to see things as you see them. Help me to count the cost, but help me more to remember the infinite reward of a loving relationship with you. In your son’s name, Amen.