Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Ryan Dailey
Assistant Director at Camp Utmost 

Counting the cost


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Ryan Dailey, Assistant Director at Camp Utmost

If you wanted to go on a trip to Seattle today, would you be able to drop everything and make it there and back okay? Before going, you would have to check to make sure you have fuel, money, a decent car, and food and water along the way. This is called counting the cost. To count the cost is to see if you can finish something before you start it. This journey of following Christ is no different. Before committing to Christ and picking up your cross are you able to complete it through to the end?

I encourage you to read Luke 14:26-33, where Jesus talks about counting the cost of following him. In this passage, Jesus says you must hate your father and your mother to follow Christ. The original Greek word used here is "miseō" and it means to love something less in comparison to something else.

I love bacon. I also love mashed potatoes, though not nearly as much. If you were to give me a plate full of bacon and mashed potatoes, it would appear as though I hate mashed potatoes. Jesus is bacon. Family and friends are great, but our love for Jesus should be so strong that our love for anyone and anything else pales in comparison.

What does it look like to follow Jesus this closely? The process of growing closer to Christ involves discipleship, being in close community with other believers. Mentorship is a crucial aspect of discipleship for both old and new Christians alike. It is the means of starting new believers down the right path, teaching them how to live the Christian life. It is the idea of moving from milk to solid food, a wiser Christian teaching a newer one how to walk and eat. This involves living life alongside one another and include training, correction and rebuke.

Another important aspect of discipleship is similar: to have a friend alongside you, fighting with you. A battle buddy of sorts. Two weary people can go much further than one can alone. I like to use the phrase Christian journey rather than saying Christian walk. Along this journey there are mountains, battles, burdens, trails and sometimes even clear fields to stroll through. There will be many days you are fighting in a tough battle struggling to stay up, but if you have a battle buddy to stay alongside you the outcome will be different. This journey we are on was not meant to be done alone.

Jesus' words in Luke are somber and joyful at the same time. Counting the cost involves a recognition of the trials to come. Yet as we count the cost with somber hearts, we are reminded of the joys ahead. This is why discipleship is so important: we are prepared for those hard times by godly mentors and friends, reminding us to stay the course. Following Jesus may not be easy, but it will most assuredly be worth it.


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