Remember the Mother Goose rhyme about Simple Simon? He’s the one who met the pie man and asked for a sample. The pie man said, “Show me first your penny.” Or as we might say, “There’s a price tag on it.”
Jesus said this about Christian discipleship. “No one can be My disciple who does not carry his own cross and follow Me. But don’t begin until you count the cost” (Luke 14:27, 28 TLB).
There’s a price tag on life. Whether at its beginning or end or at any point in between, life costs something. The world offers many desirable, fascinating things. Impulsively we say, “That’s for me! I’ll have a big helping of that!” Then comes the unavoidable demand, “First your penny!” Health, peace, liberty, reputation, all of these and much more demand prior and continuing payment. There’s a price tag on everything.
There’s a price tag on achievement. To master a musical instrument, or to sing well requires long hours of diligent study and patient practice. To get a good education, to excel in some sport, to be a leader in a profession or in the arts, every worthwhile thing demands payment in industry, self-discipline and perseverance. Some of us do no more than window shop. We see the price tag and don’t want to pay what it costs.
There’s a price tag on religion. Jesus dispelled any illusions of an easy, cheap, pie-in-the-sky sort of discipleship when He said, “If any man would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). A satisfying relationship with God will cost the surrender of every known wrong, every conflicting love, every doubtful practice. Time and effort must also be spent in cultivating the things of the Spirit. Salvation is of such surpassing value that whatever it costs us it is still a gift. It cost Heaven’s best, the self-giving of the Son of God.
Whether we choose the best or the worst, we pay for it. The best Christian you know chooses to be a servant of Jesus Christ and pays for it. Some people choose to be slaves to their appetites and they pay for it. We take what we want and pay for it.
May we so live as to be satisfied and benefitted with what we are paying for.
Bramwell Tripp, To the Point