Counting the Cost

In Christian circles, when we speak of counting the cost, it is usually a reference to the price of following Jesus. Today I want to use it in another way. I want you to think about the cost of decision making. There is an expense paid with every choice we make, even when we chose to be indecisive.

Lately, I have watched several people make a mess of their lives because they failed to think through the ramifications of their choices. Here are five areas you need to consider when you make your next major decision.

  1. The Financial Cost. This one is the most obvious. Almost every choice will impact you in some way financially and that, in turn, will affect other things.
  2. The Time Cost. Saying yes to some things will require you to give up your time and energy. Time is our most limited and also the most valuable resource. One example, a job may pay much more but require more time from you. Is the money worth our time?
  3. The Relational Cost. How will the decision impact the people around you? Will it affect my connection with my wife and kids? What will this mean for my relationship with my parents? One poor choice can leave much collateral relationship damage.
  4. The Emotional Cost. You will carry with you the weight of this decision. A poor choice will be like a massive bag of rocks that you carry around for the rest of your life. Without thinking about this part of your life through completely, you can end up living with numerous areas where you second guess yourself and live with regret.
  5. The Spiritual Cost. If you choose to step outside of God’s will, there are always consequences. Quite often, those costs are not felt immediately. Some of the choices we make drive a wedge between God and us, and one day, the weight of those will weigh heavy on our lives. They may cause feelings of despair and shame that we never thought possible.

Most people fail to evaluate at least one of these areas when they are making a decision. Then they jump into a new phase blindly. Often it is not until the damage sets in that they begin to process these ideas. My encouragement to you is clear: If you are on the edge of making some big decision in your life, then be sure to give a thorough evaluation of what it might cost you. Hindsight might be 20/20, but a little foresight is far more valuable.

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