It was my mom’s birthday, and for some reason my ten-year-old mind felt we were not celebrating big enough. So I convinced my younger sister to work with me by using our hole punchers to make two large Tupperware bowls full of confetti.
It took us most of the afternoon, but we were happy to do it. After all, we loved our mom and there were no smart devices to fill our time. Besides, we were about to give my mother what every mother dreams of on her birthday: two children screaming surprise and throwing a bunch of paper at her–and onto her floor. Right?
My mom was getting ready to walk through the door, with my sister on one side of the door and me on the other, both of us armed with our confetti-filled Tupperware bowls. The anticipation was more than I could take!
The second my mom was within range the launching of the confetti began. After the confetti fell (which seemed like such a short time of celebration after all of that build-up), I looked up at my mom.
She was holding her forehead with blood streaming down her nose.
Apparently, I had hit my mom’s head with the edge of the bowl and she was standing there bleeding and trying not to make me feel guilty–on her birthday.
My intentions were the best, but they definitely took a turn for the worse as my plans of how to throw the confetti were not the most well-considered.
Sometimes our intentions as Christians are like this. We have great intentions to…
- have a meaningful quiet time.
- make it to church.
- serve the needy.
- share Christ with our neighbor.
- go on a mission trip.
But our personal intentions without well-considered actions typically leave us with results very different from the ones we intended.
Jesus was a master communicator and one of his teaching strategies was to use parables, which are stories that have a spiritual point or lesson. In the parable mentioned in the Scripture below, Jesus uses the analogy of a builder to teach about what can happen when we have intentions to follow Him, yet we don’t make careful assessments or considerations of what following Him entails.
And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, “This man began to build and was not able to finish”? • Luke 14:27-30 •
We have to consider the cost of following Christ.
Compared to many Christians who are giving or risking their lives to follow Christ, our counted costs may seem insignificant. But the truth is they are still costs, and many times these small costs are big distractions that prevent us from following through with our intentions.
Maybe you can relate to some of these costs to follow Christ:
» The cost of waking up earlier or giving up free time on a Sunday morning.
» The cost of giving of our time to help someone who has nothing to offer us in return.
» The cost of being labeled as a person who talks about Jesus way too much.
» The cost of giving up some vacation time for the sake of sharing the gospel.
Without finishing or following through with our intentions, we become like the unwise builder in the parable. We become known as unable to finish what God called us to do as believers.
Time passes quickly and good intentions will not:
» Deepen our relationship with Christ.
» Allow us to serve as part of the body of Christ.
» Meet another person’s spiritual or physical need.
After we consider the cost, we have to make a plan and take action. Otherwise, like the above Scripture teaches, our walks with God will be half-finished and a mockery. We need to set the alarm, schedule times, and/or share our plans for accountability.
I want to have more than good intentions for Christ; I want to be a follower who considers the costs and follows through to the finish. I want to count the costs and take action to serve and worship because the extra effort or time is worth it. Because God and my relationship with Him is worth it.