Count the Cost (Diet for Dreamers)


Previously we mentioned that if you’re going to accomplish anything worthwhile in life, you’ll need to make some sacrifices. Whether it’s building a lasting marriage, raising great kids, or achieving some long-held goal or dream, you’ll need to be willing to pay the price.

Every business deal, ministry, relationship, project, hobby, or activity — every great human endeavor — comes with a price tag. Once we understand this truth, we’ll tend to analyze and evaluate every goal and situation. We’ll start counting the cost before committing to something new. After all, would you agree to purchase an item without knowing its cost? Unless you’re Donald Trump, probably not. (But we seriously doubt even he  would make a blind financial decision.)

Once we stop long enough to count the cost in time, energy, effort, sacrifice, patience, love, understanding, and faithfulness, we won’t be so quick to enter in to just any relationship or project. Knowing we’re accountable when it comes to “paying the tab” might keep us from blindly charging into things. And the things we do decide to commit to, we’ll do so wholeheartedly, knowing the cost and being mentally prepared to pay it.

Some endeavors come at a truly great price. So it helps to be psychologically prepared. Ready to give it our best shot, so to speak. The author Charles Bukowski once wrote:

If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing [friends] and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. …You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is. (Factotum)

If you’re going to make a go of something, make a “good go” of it. No half-hearted attempts. “And whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” (Colossians 3:23 King James 2000) But again, know before hand what the price is — what you’re getting into. Spare yourself and your loved ones any unnecessary heartache. Once you understand the cost of realizing ANY dream, and make a commitment to pay that cost, no matter what, you’ll be more likely to follow through on every endeavor.

Count the cost. Be committed and ready to foot the bill. Then stick with it and pay the price. “Jesus said … ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62 ESV) “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?” (Luke 14:28 NLT)