Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Opportunity Costs

"I believe we have TWO lives; the life we learn with and the life we live with after that." - Iris Gaines, The Natural.

That is one of my favorite movie lines of all time. I like it because it is very true. When we are young we make quick decisions, often made without thinking. Decisions made in haste . . . well, let's let King Solomon say it.

"Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way." - Proverbs 19:2

When I was in college, which was a LONG time ago, I learned a few things in my economics class. First, I learned that economics is extremely boring. SO boring was it that the few gems of wisdom that came from that class stuck out like a sore thumb. Like this little nugget . . .

"Everything costs something. They are called Opportunity Costs."

College is a good example of that. When you go to college you give up four years of potential income at a lower paying job in hopes of making more money later on in a higher paying job with a college degree.

Having unprotected, premarital sex is another example of an opportunity cost. Not wanting to "wreck the mood" by stopping and putting on a condom can cost you later. Sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy are just a few of the more visible costs for not thinking before hand.

"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?" - Luke 14:28

In this last verse Jesus was speaking about the cost of discipleship but the same is true of any decision we make. We need to think about the consequences BEFORE we act. Back to the example of me at college.

I got invited to a party by a few friends. One of the hockey players from the Badger hockey team was going to be there. It was a chance for us geeks to get to go to a really cool party! It was a wapatuli party, where everyone brings some booze. It gets poured it into a garbage can and then everyone drinks from it until they get drunk. I brought a six-pack of Coca Cola. Everyone frowned at me as I was pouring it in.

Then the hockey player showed up. Cool! It wasn't long before I smelled something unusual - marijuana. Even though I did not drink, the booze was legal. I was 18 and so was the drinking age back then. But the pot was NOT legal. I suddenly felt very uncomfortable so I left the party. Amazingly, unknowingly, I was counting the cost and I actually thought about something before it happened.

I'm not going to lecture you about stuff you should already know. But I am going to remind you, because we ALL need to be reminded, that all sin comes with a cost. Sometimes the cost can be extremely high . . . like your soul.

I have personally seen the massive toll left in the wake of a non-thinking person who commits suicide. Yes, that's right, the person who took their life was not thinking. They weren't thinking of the opportunity costs. They were not thinking that their loving mother would be the one to find the body and have an emotional breakdown. Of the person who discovers a once living friend laying on the floor, lifeless.

I have seen unwed mothers trying to raise a kid without the necessary presence of a father, all because they weren't thinking. They were hoping perhaps that the father WANTED to be a father and they would have a happy wonderful family together. Too bad when the guy splits and leaves them both behind. Too late to measure the cost.

But there is still hope for all of us non-thinkers. God still loves us no matter how many times we disappoint Him. He still forgives us. But He only does that IF we repent. IF.

God does forgive. Want proof? Have hope fellow sinners. Read this.

"9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." - 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Verse 11 is gold!!!

Such were some of you. That means that some of those early sinners repented and were saved. Keyword repented. It is possible to live a sin-filled life, repent at the last minute before you die, and be saved. The trick is knowing exactly when you are going to die. And then having enough energy left to pray. Risky.

Hmm. I wonder. Doesn't it make more sense to count the cost, NOW, as Jesus says in Luke? To weigh the opportunity costs, repent of all our bad decisions, and be washed and sanctified in the name of Jesus? I think so. God thinks so. What do YOU think?

Without Repentance A Man Cannot Be Saved - Todd Friel, Wretched TV

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