Luke 14:28 - Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?
Some people approach a problem and before they move forward they first see if they have the resources and if they can solve it by themselves. All the outcomes and procedures they know may indeed lead them to the answers, thus allowing them to complete the task; but they must be sure they must first look at what it will cost them to complete in both time and money. Then a decision can be made.
Second, if the task is more than they are trained for and have experience in, they may decide they cannot complete it by themselves and must ask for help. The cost for this choice may involve hurting their pride a little, but seeking help may actually show the willingness of an individual to join in partnership with others and find they can solve the problem together.
Unfortunately there is a third approach that’s possible. This group of people will never “stoop so low”, to ask for help. They would rather watch the problem grow in intensity thus causing other problems to pop up that they hadn’t seen coming. So they try to prove they can find the solution, but in the process they use up resources they which were meant for another task to be completed. And so they fail in completing the current task and also the one that was to be done in the future. If they had only counted the cost first, they may have succeeded.
There is one more approach that many choose. They decide to do nothing. They have counted the cost, but are too afraid to try to solve the problem on their own. And they won’t ask for help because in doing so they feel that they may look incompetent to not only solve this problem, but are also unable to do their job.
Which group do you fall into?
No matter what your choice is remember that there is always going to be a cause and effect as a result of your decision. You must count the cost, because it includes not just the time and finances it takes to get the job done, but also the emotional cost and how it can affect our well-being.
As I mentioned above, when you find yourself in need of help, in asking for it, you may feel like you’re less than competent or your pride gets bruised. These costs may seem minimal, but as one project follows another, doubts about yourself can lead to depression and anxiety. We can become afraid of what will happen to us.
If we have someone to cheer us on, our depression and anxiety can be set aside and the new goal acted upon. But if those around us tell us that we can’t complete it our well-being takes a downward turn.
How do we count the cost to our emotional well-being when decisions have to be made? Take a look at Harvard Business Review’s (hbr.org) article, “Don’t Let Emotions Screw Up Your Decisions.” In the article it discusses how our feelings can offer relevant and important feedback about a decision, but irrelevant emotions triggered by a completely unrelated event can take us off track.
A decision always comes with an emotional cost. But if you take that decision to God, just as the Bible verse above states, he can help you sit down and estimate the cost and help you take the best course of action.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.