Including a Cost-Benefit Analysis

What would we think of an army recruiter who got people to sign up for the military by telling them about the free food, free clothing, educational opportunities, and camaraderie, but never mentioned that soldiers also had to discipline themselves, obey orders, and likely go to war where they would be shot at? Not very honest, is it?

Someone considering enlisting needs to consider both the benefits and the costs of being in the military. Of course, no one would be so ignorant, at least when it comes to military service. But what about following Jesus?

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The Wages of Sin

I was reading my Google news feed this morning:

The sheer sinfulness implied by the headlines reminded me of a sermon I heard years ago. Entitled “How much is your sin going to cost me?”, it was preached by our former pastor, Ted Haggard, who would have done well to listen to himself. Ted related that he was an overseer for a large church in another state. The previous week, that church’s pastor had admitted to having an affair with another church member, and Ted had had to drop everything and go help the church deal with the crisis. As a result, he wasn’t here in town to perform a wedding for a couple who really wanted him to officiate. This other church’s pastor’s indiscretion had hurt a couple he didn’t even know.

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My daughter was all excited about a promotional give-away. Seems you can register online at the HGTV website to win a “green” (as in “environmentally friendly”) house, car, and $100K. She had already entered and was urging me to do so too.

I have to admit, my first thought was “Wow, we could really use $100K!” But that was quickly followed by a bunch of other considerations. We’d have to sell the house. Houses are not selling well right now; it could take months or even years. Most of the money would go to cover taxes on the whole deal. The vehicle was nice, but not one we’d normally choose for ourselves. Even if we beat the odds and won (a very remote possibility!), it would create a ton of work!

As I pointed all this out to our eager daughter, I explained that I was choosing not to enter the contest. We just didn’t have the time or energy we’d need to deal with the prize.

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