The cost of diamond earrings is worth kidneys! Their value is worth rubble. The cost of friendship is worth 600sh for a double latte for two at Java Coffee House. The value of friendship is immeasurable. Somehow, human beings end up switching the cost and value of stuff whilst making decisions. Especially the small decisions. What is characteristic of skewing small decisions in a certain direction is that the big decisions tend to follow suit. The result is chaos if the priorities are wrong. If everything on earth had the label “valuable” or “costly” on it, it might steer us from making some absurd choices whose end result is chaotic. You see, things of value are in simplest terms “valuable.” Things of cost are too in simplest terms “costly.” I’ve come to realize that everything has a cost but not everything has value. Most amazing are the things that fall in both categories, i.e. costly and valuable.  The effect of costly things is this; it takes away from you. The result of valuable things is this; it adds to you.

A costly valuable relationship will challenge me to grow in character. It costs my ego and earns me a wife. A double costly relationship will do just the opposite. It will recede my assets. Assets here are the wow things in you that benefit other people, not you e.g. your patience. That would benefit a habitually late person. Cost your time and build their respect for you (value). Your sexual purity. That would benefit your future spouse. What’s the cost? What’s the value? How about your resilience? That may benefit someone who constantly annoys you now wouldn’t it? The whole concept would sound greatly selfish if we only focused on getting and not giving. Humanity is largely selfish, so it won’t really be news to tell you to find the things of value for your life. Still, we take no chances. I find that learning a new origami design each week keeps hours of television away. It also grows my business. It adds to me. It’s valuable. I have found that spending time with certain individuals leaves me thinking paranoid. It deducts on my conscience. It takes away. It’s costly.

Not every costly thing falls in the category or “wrong” and “evil.” There’s nothing wrong with diamond earrings. It would just be such a tragedy if one of them got lost after all that money you spent. Or go bankrupt for two pieces of compressed coal hanging on your lobes. To ask what is wrong with costly things would not give you a clear view. To ask what is right would be the more appropriate. Now, I see your heads shaking because you have all the answers for this one already. You say, it will give you social status, you like the fine things of life (as do I), you have standards to uphold, just to name a few. However, whatever the reasons, I come to realize that more and more justification of costly stuff is out of a personal selfish craving that has no eternal value. Did he say eternal? Yes, I did. Cause I could’ve sworn he said internal. Nope, eternal. Why? Cause man will live forever beloved. It’s there after you’re mulch.  Most of you know that part. And I can’t belabour the point here.  Maybe elsewhere. However, as much as many know it, very few practice it. Despite being cognizant of the fact, we look at ourselves in a mirror and walk away having forgotten how we really look.  You see, we crave the next iPod, iPad, iMac, iPhone not realizing that like Eve, we are biting the apple (no pun intended) to meet our selfish needs through things God would call idols (seriously, no pun intended).

We have clearly ruled out costly things. Yet even among the valuable, there are valuables that are not really worth our energy. They too like some costly things are good. They’re just not beneficial, eternally speaking. Jesus Christ as Paul puts it, will one day test the works of every man with fire. It is paramount to note that while Paul mentions this in 1 Corinthians 3, the builders are building on a common foundation called Jesus Christ. That is the foundation. Anything else is pure waste. If it is built on your reputation, your bank account, your "likeability", your pretty face, your popularity, your education, your social status or your achievements, it is waste and will melt away when eternity strikes. So, the building materials are of various kinds; wood, straw, gold, silver and precious stones. When the fire comes, some material burns away while some withstands. Some material was costly eternally speaking while some was valuable. You can’t help point out that when the fire comes, the two most likely materials to stand are the gold and the silver. These fall in that peculiar category we mentioned earlier. Costly and valuable. And if these withstood the fire with the foundation, then it makes sense to put it that the foundation is also both costly and valuable. Jesus, being the foundation of our eternal building, did cost dearly. It cost his life and his blood to have this foundation that can never fail. It is valuable eternally for it can never be shaken.

Are you adding onto the free foundation you received matters of cost and value? Why both? Because matters of Christ’s Kingdom are such. It costs your “being cool” but adds to your being righteous. It costs your looking sexy but adds to your walking in purity. Yep ladies. If Jesus is the foundation, change the tight booty wear for a tough spirit repair. It demands your sacrificing of your comfort so that someone else may see the gospel and find the foundation you have found. I have come to find the following spiritual disciplines to be the stuff of cost and value that will withstand that fire; Reading, memorizing & meditating on the Bible, spending costly time in prayer, spending costly time in fellowships, spending costly effort to share with people the gospel and even more costly time living it out. The result is valuable. We will not find ourselves fighting it or despising it but simply loving it.