Willing To Pay The Price
Though skeptical of his teenage son's newfound determination to build bulging muscles, one father followed his teenager to the store's weight-lifting department, where they admired a set of weights.
"Please, Dad," pleaded the teen, "I promise I'll use 'em every day."
"I don't know, Michael. It's really a commitment on your part," the father said.
"They're not cheap either," the father said.
"I'll use 'em, Dad, I promise. You'll see."
Finally won over, the father paid for the equipment and headed for the door. After a few steps, he heard his son behind him say, "What! You mean I have to carry them to the car?"
The comparison to our Christian lives is all too obvious. We can be told how much commitment is involved in being a Christian. We can be told how much will be required of us when we become a Christian. We say that we understand all that is involved and we are still willing to give our "all" to Christ. But, often, we are barely dried off from our baptism before we are complaining about what is expected of us -- "Surely you don't expect me to spend that much time, that much money, that much effort!"
The truth is, those of us who are Christians rarely see Christianity as much of a struggle. Christianity is an easy way of living for most of us. Perhaps too easy. I think there's enough in scripture to label Christianity as a struggle for our faith. In Luke 13:24, Jesus said, Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. We don't just walk through the narrow gate; we have to strive to get through. That word suggests there is to be a great deal of effort on our part.
In Ephesians 6:12, Paul describes the Christian life in this way: For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. The picture Paul paints for us is a picture of struggling, a picture of constant battle.
The Hebrew writer constantly alludes to the fact that we need to put a great deal of effort into our Christian lives. The word diligent is frequently used. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest… (Hebrews 4:11).
It has been said that our favorite hypocrisy is to make a choice and then to refuse to pay for it. We have a word for that in this country -- it's called credit! Thanks to credit, I can go to the store and pick out something I want, and then not have to pay for it now. In fact, some stores go so far as to say, "Come in and buy our furniture and make no payments until January 2010!" But how many people do you suppose have gotten themselves into severe financial difficulty because they made a choice that they were not really willing to pay for?
But that truth applies to far more than just financial matters; it applies to all of life. Rudyard Kipling once said that if anyone did not get from life what they really wanted, it was because either he didn't really want it or because he began to quibble about the price. That may be a bit of an overstatement, but I do think there's a great deal of truth there. We must be willing to pay the price for what we want.
The price for the Christian life is high, and Jesus wants us to count that cost as part of our decision to follow him.
Source: Allan Smith Thought for the Day