August 9, 2021
“And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?”
I’m almost hesitant to ask, but…
Are you a “follower”?
In our world the term “follower” is not necessarily a positive one. We live in possibly the most individualistic culture ever, so people’s reactions to the idea of “following” are more often along the lines of, “Hey, man! Don’t be a follower, be unique! Be yourself! You just do you!”
And in many ways, that’s not bad advice. It’s good to recognize who you are as an individual, what characteristics God has built into you, and what makes you special to Him and to others. Those are all good things!
But at the same time, we cannot afford to lose ourselves in a haze of self-appreciation. As Christians, there is no doubt we are commanded to be “followers.” We are “followers of Christ,” and we must each wrestle with what that means for our daily lives. And in our passage this week we see some of the harder words Jesus has for those who would follow Him: You want to follow me? Be sure you count the cost first. Because there will be a cost.
I am very grateful the cost to me for being a “follower of Christ” has been pretty small. Becoming a Christian back in college did create some initial relationship bumps within my family. My mom did occasionally send me articles with titles like “How to Tell if You’re in a Cult” and so forth. But never was my health, my job or even my life on the line like it is for other “followers of Christ” in our world So some days I wonder… have I ever truly counted the cost in the first place? Would I be as willing to follow Him if the cost began to rise? Do I really understand what it means to “carry my cross and follow Him”?
How about you today? What costs do you experience being a follower of Jesus? How might you honestly react if those costs were higher? And what actions might God be nudging you toward when it comes to your life as a follower of Him?