When you shop, what do you want to know before you buy?
For me, when I see something I like, whether it’s clothes, cookies, or a car, one of the first things I want to know is the price. What will it cost?
That’s not a bad question to ask about actions, too. One young man was deeply smitten with a young lady who showed no interest in him. Determined to win her heart, he purchased expensive gifts and had one per day delivered to her house. Sure enough, the young lady soon fell madly in love - with the UPS man! Maybe the young man didn’t examine all the possible outcomes of his actions.
It’s good to look ahead to the cost before taking any action. Jesus gave the example of someone who “wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down,” Jesus asked, “and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?” (Luke 14:28). If he can’t afford to finish, he would be foolish to begin.
Some things cost too much. We should never begin them. Sin is always like that. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23) and sometimes the cost may seem worse than death. Do you suppose that King David might have chosen differently if he had foreseen that his affair would cost the death of his son along with other calamities?
Minister and consultant Jerrie Barber says, “People don’t sin because they think too much about sin. They sin because they don’t think enough about sin.” If we really think about the cost, we will think twice about ignoring God’s commands.
I wonder if perhaps Eve might have been less tempted by forbidden fruit had she comprehended the consequences of her snack. Do you suppose that Esau might have reconsidered selling his birthright for a bowl of stew if he had thought that through more thoroughly?
Of course, it’s easy to see the cost once it’s been rung up. Three weeks into basic training, some Army recruits were being berated by their enraged sergeant. In the middle of his screaming, he threatened to send them all back three weeks to start their training all over again. One soldier muttered, “How about sending us back four weeks?” Knowing the cost might change the decision to purchase.
Every action has consequences. Before we buy in, it would be wise to check the price.