This past week, I bought a car. It’s a nice one. It’s somewhat new and still has the warranty and bluetooth. It’s a step up from my last car. And did you know that cars cost money?
Now that I’m back in America, it seems like everything I want costs something. Clothes for work. Stuff for my new apartment/house. Teacher certification exams.
A few months ago, I came across the phrase “opportunity cost.” Opportunity cost is the idea that everything in this life is worth something. Every decision we make involves us sacrificing something for something else. If I want a car, I have to give up money. If I want to hang out with one friend, I have to sacrifice my time. I’m essentially saying “no” to time with Netflix or my bed or with my family.
Have you ever said “no” to hanging out with someone because you just wanted to do something else? Essentially, you’re telling the person how much you value them. I know it’s harsh, but this is what opportunity cost says.
I haven’t been able to get this idea out of my head.
Because when it comes to following Christ, doesn’t that cost something too? I’ve been wondering why. And then it hit me — we show how valuable something is by how much it costs.
If you want a cheap car, you’re only going to sacrifice a little money. But if you want something nice, it’s gonna be pricey. This goes for virtually every single thing in life. Good homes. Good shoes. Good friends. Good relationships.
I think a lot of people think I’m crazy for moving from South Korea to Oklahoma. Oklahoma isn’t exotic. It isn’t traveling the world. But I’m doing it because if I don’t, then I know I’m disobeying God. Because something in me says that there’s something more to my life than my own dreams. There’s helping children and teaching them. Maybe down the line, there’s opening my own school and helping women in the sex tourism industry.
And I think these people are worth giving my life for. I think Christ is worth following.
Don’t get me wrong though — it hurts.
Sacrificing my time by living in America is hard. Taking a job in a small town where there are tornadoes is also hard. Working in a job that doesn’t pay well and isn’t valued by America is even more difficult.
I never wanted to be a teacher. But following Christ by saying “yes” to anything is a part of this plan. And miraculously, God has changed a lot of my heart when it comes to teaching. The other day, I found myself saying “I want to go into teaching.” A year ago, that would’ve NEVER happened. But I know these kids need teachers who say their education is worth something.
It took a lot for me to die. It takes a lot for me to die. Every single day I wonder what I’m doing. But then I put my eyes back on Jesus and He reminds me that He’s worth it. By giving up my life, I’m showing Him how valuable I think He is.
Sure, we can sing the songs in church and tell God how much we love Him, but doesn’t it really show by what we ultimately choose to do? By what we ultimately choose to give up?
I think this is why God tells us to give Him EVERYTHING. I think this is why God chose to give up EVERYTHING when He died for us.
There on the cross, He was showing us what we were worth to Him. Everything.
I hope that as I continue following Christ, and not following my own dreams or pursuit of happiness as 20somethings are supposed to do, I can look back at the cross and remember.
Following Christ doesn’t just cost me my time. Or my reputation. Or my Sunday mornings. Or a few dollars every now and then to give to the poor.
It costs everything.
So Jesus, here is my everything.
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?