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Withholding the Actual Cost

The Christmas season is in full swing. Let’s say you run to the store to buy a present for a loved one and you’re ecstatic because you nabbed the last one! You look at the price and it’s $50 below anywhere else you’ve seen. Homerun!

You take it to the cashier and she runs it through the scanner. You notice the item rang up almost five times the price the sticker said. The cashier explains there are fees and requirements associated with this particular item. You are confused, upset, and you may just walk away then and there.

I use this analogy to ask, are we, as the God’s people (individually and/or corporately), teaching something other than the whole truth? It feels sometimes as if we take an unspoken oath, “I swear to tell the truth, the partial truth, and the easy parts of the truth so help me God.”

People can get very disillusioned and upset when the “fine print” is clarified and the cost turns out to be a lot more than they bargained for. I know I want as many people to come to Jesus as possible, but even though everything’s a free gift, we have to surrender everything.

It’s one of those beautiful paradoxes that doesn’t make any sense unless you’ve experienced the life of God. But when we remove this crucial part, people hit walls and don’t know how to press through. They find disappointment instead of joy and despair instead of renewed strength.

There are times we may be tempted to make the truth easier to swallow when in reality we set people up with one price, then we, or life, hits them up later for the balloon payment and it’s a big mess.

I don’t want people to drop out of the race because I suddenly explain what it will cost. It costs everything, but what I have to give up is nothing compared to what God is offering. I want that truth to be front-and-center, portrayed and explained in relevant and creative ways.

This is the story of the season. Jesus gave everything, humbled Himself, and took on the nature of a servant (also the body of a baby). He did it all so that we could have it all when life bears down on us. That’s the beauty of the Gospel.

Jesus was able to convey this truth, and we can too as we follow Him. The Kingdom is like a pearl of great price or hidden treasure. We have to see its value before we are willing to give up everything.

I want the Kingdom of God to be displayed in word and deed through all of us so that the value is undeniable.

What do you say? Have you or do you feel, the Church in general, has shied away from talking about these things?


  1. I do feel the church (in general) has skirted around some of the harder truths in the Bible. They want people to know they are loved but they gloss over the costs of following Christ. There’s much to discuss on this topic…more than can be said in a comment.

    • For sure. The topic of His love is obviously central to the Gospel message but it’s that love that compels us to pay the price in serving Him and others. Thanks TC.

  2. We have to see its value before we are willing to give up everything. It’s that very line you wrote that drove us to surrender for over seas mission. One of our biggest struggles in now being in a stateside ministry is the issue of the weak church when it comes to address sin and there is a cost for following Jesus. Yes He paid the price so we could have the Holy Spirit in us to give us courage to not only count the cost but act upon what ever He is telling us to do. Because some seen the value to share the gospel with us we were motivated to tell others. Now I must say I was totally content telling those around me in the state but God used all that to get me ready for overseas ministry. Was it all worth it , yes, yes because our Savior thought we were worth for, us, full of sinful pride and all other kinds of sin. It is those thoughts that keeps us from forcing on the church and make our circle smaller and ask, what am sharing, who am I telling. Your post always stir my heart Jason because you usually get right to the core of what ever you write about. Blessings brother, blessings.

    • You brought an incredibly deep comment to this, Betty! Thanks as always. Appreciate your insights and experience. I have much to learn.

  3. The truth, all of it, is what will set us free in the end. We shouldn’t sugar-coat it or distort it into something it was never intended to be. Following God, submitting completely to Him, requires sacrifice on our parts; it’s the only way to truly live.
    Blessings, Jason!

    • Great point. We want freedom but without the full truth of love and sacrifice we don’t get it (either in our hearts or our lives). Thanks Martha!

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