The decision-making process we use revolves around discovering desires and setting goals. Most often, our goals revolve around… ourselves. What is in MY best interest? What will give ME the highest income? What will make MY kids behave the way I want them to? Flirting with this person is just making ME feel good; it’s not hurting anyone else. There are tons of books on the market dedicated to behavior modification, decision-making, and goal-setting.
Now, imagine that from this day forward, Jesus will be the center of your decision-making. Not you, not your family, nor your children, but primarily Jesus. In today’s passage, Jesus refers to a military decision of kings in a battle. Jesus is essentially telling us, “Do not go into battle that you will surely lose with half-hearted measures.” Discipleship requires Jesus to be the priority in ALL decisions.
How will your decisions impact your relationship with your spouse if Jesus is the inspiration? For some, the marriage may improve because you will avoid workplace flirtations or look for comfort somewhere other than your spouse. For other married believers, the challenge may be that their spouse is not a Christian. How might the marriage be affected then? A husband could become resentful of a church-going, praying wife if he does not believe. Even more, a spouse can become upset over a commitment to tithe ten percent of the household income to a church. The arguments that can ensue from a spouse’s unwillingness to tithe can be catastrophic. Imagine the impact on the whole family with a decision such as this. Many of your family’s spending habits—including vacations, team sports, etc.—would have to change.
At the office, yours may not be the most popular cubicle if you decline to participate in the juicy gossip and avoid weekly happy hour. The office gossip might even become about YOU, the “Jesus Freak.” Are you willing to accept that?
Jesus is saying in Luke that true discipleship has relational costs that you ought to consider ahead of time and to make peace with the fact that every decision you make WILL affect those around you once your motives have shifted away from you and those you love most to him.
31Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? 32And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. 33So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.
How have your relationships with family and friends been affected by your relationship with Christ?
What can you do today to allow your relationship with Christ to influence a current difficult relationship?