The cost of convenience is something that I would bet some companies spent a lot of time and effort trying to formulate. I went to the grocery store early in the morning the other day because we were out of both milk and eggs, and we didn’t have enough pancake mix either. When I got to the register to check out, there were two employees there discussing the cost of the 20 oz. bottles of Pepsi in the display cooler. Apparently they didn’t like the idea of paying $1.79 for a bottle of pop, and even complained about it being too expensive when the price was a dollar.
As I put my groceries on the conveyor belt, I notices that there was a pallet of 2-liter bottles across the aisle from the cooler of 20 oz. bottles that only cost ten cents more. When I pointed that out, the woman ringing up my groceries responded by saying “I guess you pay more because it’s cold.”
When we think ahead, we can often avoid paying extra for convenience, but you can find article after blog post after video online of people breaking down whether the savings are really worth it. The money you save by tracking down the best deal, driving across town to buy in bulk, and cooking all you meals from scratch ends up costing you in other ways. If you want to really save, you have to count the costs.
If you want to be a disciple of Christ, you have to count the costs. Salvation is a free gift, but the cost of discipleship is great (Luke 12:25-33). Jesus calls His disciples to deny themselves, take up their cross, and lose their lives for the sake of Christ and the Gospel. Jesus never tricked or forced anyone into following Him. He told a rich young man straight up what it would take, and the young man decided that the cost was too great (Matthew 19:16-22).
Being a disciple of Christ is not convenient. To deny yourself is to say “I do not know that person.” To take up your cross is to consider yourself as good as dead to the world. To lose your life for the sake of Christ and the Gospel is to turn control of every part of your life over to Jesus. It would be more convenient to try to navigate around the cross, but there is a cost of convenience.
Jesus says to count the cost of following Him. If that seems like too much to bear, consider the cost of convenience. Count the cost of going a different direction. The road to life goes through death. The road to salvation goes through cross. What good is it to gain everything you could ever want only to lose it all along with your soul when all is said and done (Mark 8:36)?