(Based on a sermon by Leon Odom)

"For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it" (Luke 14:28).

Whatever we do, we should count the cost to see whether it is worth the time, effort and/or money or the consequences of what we intend to do. We try to convince the young people concerning the wrong in doing certain things. One approach in our efforts ought to be to get them to count the cost.

Don't smoke, we tell them. Why not, they ask? Count the cost. First the money cost. Think of all the things one could buy with the money it costs to smoke. But the cost is more than the money spent. Lung cancer, emphysema and other maladies. And the influence you may have on others to encourage them to follow your example. And the influence you may destroy when you try to teach someone of Christ.

Count the cost to use drugs and/or alcohol. The cost in money is enormous. That cost has caused people to lie, steal, cheat and kill in order to maintain their habit. And the consequences. A great feeling for a few hours, a few minutes of good feelings and then a tremendous let down that has to be fed over and over and finally a person who is financially and physically poverty stricken.

Count the cost of an illicit sexual relationship. It could cost a young lady her childhood or a young man financial obligations that he is not ready or willing to contract. An older man who plays the fool and engages in an illicit affair. He risks destroying an entire family relationship. What is the benefits of such activity. A few minutes of fun that must be hidden from friends and family. Perhaps disease. Perhaps a lifetime of shame.

Count the cost even of a marital relationship. Whom shall I marry? Be careful with this one. What will be the consequences? Will it be a boy/girl that will give me a family relationship that will endure? Is it the kind of man/woman that my family can relate to? Will it be someone that is always there to lean on? Is it a relationship that God approves of?

There are many things we would not involve ourselves in if we would honestly "count the cost." Jesus said, "Count the cost."

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