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Not Worth It

This week, I received an email that stated “We miss you!”  Attached was a coupon that offered me the opportunity to receive a free, single item gift valued up to $26.99 with any purchase. 

Their plot worked.  I just happened to be fresh out of body wash and couldn’t neglect this opportunity to replenish.  

I walked into the store on a mission.  Find the least expensive thing I could purchase in order to obtain the free body wash and leave.  I was determined not to get sucked into their wonderland of aroma villages separated by displays of tropical islands and dew-capped mountains all labeled “Buy 3 get 2 free.”  The entire store was a compact carnival for the senses.  

I began systematically walking around picking things up to see how much they cost.  Hand lotion, candle, little spray bottle of perfume.  All priced far more than I was willing to pay for that item.  

I got side tracked. One little section of potions of all varieties had a name that intrigued me. A fleeting thought, what does “Sunshine Unleashed” smell like?   The allure of the shiny things began to have its way with me.  I bit the bait, opened the cap and took a whiff.  It smelled good.  Like sunshine unleashed?  Who knows or even has the ability to argue that point?  I really liked the name though, no surprise that it was the words that got me.  I even really liked the picture on the front of the bottle. For a split second I waivered in my resolve.  I flipped the bottle over to see how much Unleashed Sunshine would cost me.  $16.95  was the answer; 12 oz of unleashed sunshine costs $16.95.  

With a shake of my head I put the sunshine back on the shelf and kept it moving remembering why it had been so long since I’d been in this store.  

At some point I had come to the conclusion that for me, the cost just wasn’t worth it.  Our local Walmart had shelves upon shelves of choices that although perhaps not as creatively named or as beautifully displayed offered three times as much body wash for a better price.  

After longer than I care to admit of walking around and smelling all the choices I purchased a purse sized hand sanitizer for $2.07. A complimentary bottle of Unleashed Sunshine now sits on the shelf of my bathtub and I will enjoy it as long as it lasts.  

In Luke 14, Jesus shares a parable about the importance of counting the cost.  He relates it to making sure you have everything you need before starting to build a tower; however, like all parables, it’s a principle that applies to several areas of life. 

We, humans being human, can often be swept up in emotion and impulse and make decisions that feel good in the moment without stopping to intentionally count the cost of the commitment we are making.  All decisions are ultimately commitments of some variety.  

The Greek word psiphidzo, means to count or to calculate the real cost of the project before it is started. This process includes the careful consideration of not only the monetary cost involved in fully accomplishing the assigned task, but also of all that will be necessary in order to complete the task: time spent, physical effort expended, relationships impacted, etc.

I have often failed to listen to the wisdom of Jesus in this area.  With a heart that desires to help I have too often committed myself to things that in the long term simply cost too much.  

I’m endeavoring these days to be more intentional about taking my time in making commitments.  I offer more “No” to others than I ever have.  Although this was painfully difficult at first, as with most things, the more you practice the more comfortable it becomes.  

I have found that God is so very faithful in leading me towards those decisions that will add to my peace and not steal from it if I will stop long enough to ask Him and then choose to listen.  

I encourage you today, Daughter of God, to lay your commitments before Him and ask Him if there are any that are costing too much.  

He will give you the strength and the courage to let go of those things that are stealing from rather than adding to your peace.  

Nothing has more value.  

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