Paying The Price

Paying The Price
1 Corinthians 9:26
I rarely find myself agreeing with Bill Maher. But I came across this quote of his that bears repeating: “Americans today confuse freedom with not being asked to sacrifice. The fact that you can’t have everything you want exactly when you want it has somehow become un-American. That is an appropriate quote as we approach our Independence Day celebration and as the 2020 presidential race starts to heat up.

But it should also remind us that in our church and individual spiritual lives, the same principle applies. In his book, The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork, John Maxwell talks about the Principle of Price Tag: We fail to reach our potential when we fail to pay the price. He reminds us that most people who quit don’t give up at the bottom of the mountain; they stop halfway up. 

This is the easiest time to quit, but it’s also the worst. Halfway up the mountain — or halfway through any difficult project — after the initial rush adrenaline has worn off and the challenges have become more obvious — it’s tempting to seize any opportunity to bail. To give in to this temptation is to embrace mediocrity. Quitting halfway up the mountain again and again ensures that we spend more of our time starting over, less of our time doing great things. Remember, our greatest achievements come with a cost. As Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “There are no victories at bargain prices.”

The Apostle Paul talked about the price he paid: “I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified from the prize.” (1 Corinthians 9:26) He’s speaking figuratively (don’t start beating up on yourself), he just finished using a race and a boxing match metaphor. His point is that long term success isn’t free and it’s never easy. There’s a cost involved. 

What price will you have to pay this week to accomplish what needs to be accomplished? A few less hours of sleep? One or two skipped meals? A past due apology? An evening or two without TV? More time in the Word and in prayer? Getting involved is where God is pushing you? There’s a price that often stands between you and what God is calling you to do; it’s a price that only you can choose to pay.

If you’re stuck halfway up the mountain, take some time this week to consider what prices you’ve neglected pay. And determine to do what it takes to move on up the mountain.