COST AND VALUE
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
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.