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? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him. Luke 14:28-29 (NIV)
In the book, 9 Things You Simply Must Do, Dr. Henry Cloud presents a principle called “Play the Movie.” The idea is that when we think about doing anything, we should stop to consider what might result from our actions.
Everything that has ever been constructed, written, created or devised started with a thought. Everyone who ever does anything puts some thought into it, whether a lot or very little to none.
Counting the cost means to examine a thought and carry it forward to its logical conclusion. Let’s say that today I think, “It sure would be nice to have a new car.” Then, I play the movie forward. I drive to the car dealer. I wheel and deal on the car. I sign the paperwork. I slip in behind the wheel. I inhale the new car small. I drive it home. I notice the admiring gazes of people that I will never meet. I explain the car purchase to my wife. (How will that go?) My insurance premium goes up, but so does my self-esteem. Then, I receive the first of 1000 easy monthly payments. Now, I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. It’s a feeling of hunger and regret. I have a new car, but we can’t afford groceries. Well, maybe we will look even better being ever so lean in the new car.
After playing the movie forward, I begin to admire my current car. No payment. Low insurance costs. Kids can eat. A shot of Febreeze mimics the new car smell. Whew, I dodged a bullet. (Please understand that I’m being facetious. No complaints here.)
What ideas are you having today? Take a couple of minutes to play the movie forward. If you don’t resolve the conflict you face, what will happen? If you walk out of this relationship, what will happen next? If you move forward on the decision in front of you, who will it affect? Be honest. Count the cost.
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