Many many many moons ago when I was an undergrad at a U, I sat down outside the hall up above – Harriman Hall – and counted the cost of what it meant to be a Christian. My pastor had suggested that I do as much. So I sat and counted. Suppose the cost was high – would I be willing to go the route? Suppose the cost was low, then what? After doing a bit of thinking, my answer was “Yes!” and in the weeks to follow I told my pastor as much. He didn’t buy it.
Here and there I have thought of my Harriman Hall moment. Its bugged me a little actually. Today during my quiet time, I came back to a passage in the Bible that more often than not is referenced in sermons and discussions of counting the cost. Here it is along with a comment or two following:
25 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them,26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31
Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
First I want to put a thought out on the table. This is an idea that comes from a Michael Wilkins book on discipleship, that I read years ago. Wilkins states in his book, that a person becomes a disciple the moment she accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. She does not repent of her sins, turns to Christ for forgiveness, accepting Him as Lord and Savior and then just lives undiscipled until she enters some church program on discipleship or until some person comes along and disciples her. No. She becomes a disciple the moment she puts her trust in the Lord.
Now what does this have to do with counting the cost and the passage referenced up above. I am not sure as yet. I am processing as I write and hope something will come out.