Counting the Costs (3)

Michael at Sherigu Women Development Center

As in human slavery, whenever we treat anyone as a means to an end, we fail to count the cost.  There are further lessons to learn.  We do not count the cost when we allow poverty which prevents children of God from participating fully in God’s created order.      Economic inequity wreaks havoc in which the majority of victims are women and children. The number of those living in poverty is increasing instead of reducing as called for by the UN Millennium Summit. Financing sustainable development must focus sharply on the urgent task of eradicating the conditions that foster poverty. ERD’s Nets for Life is extremely successful in changing such conditions as malaria fostering poverty.  Jesus puts it this way: “For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life?” (Mark 8.36)   Even here, Jesus is teaching about counting the costs of profit and lost.  Weighing in on counting the cost and changing ancient ridicule to developmental relief is the genius of ERD. I have learned this first hand in my pilgrimage to Ghana.  For those with spiritual understanding such as ERD, there was a great deal to learn from Jesus’ parable concerning human ridicule.  We should never build towers in which we expect someone else to labor while we sit back and relax—even more tragic, while we enslave.  Work as Christians implies at least bilateral movement.  We must never allow the unilateral work of slavery.  Even in the greatest of labor, Jesus’ dying for our sins, there is the expectation that we too labor.  Jesus says, “Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple”. Ultimately, I have learned from my pilgrimage to Ghana that our work as Christians is to make integral—what we promise and what actually results.  We are to be those in Jesus’ eyes who know how to build a tower, and after counting the costs for building it, are willing to labor among God’s people to help all to benefit from the tower’s vantage point.  Such a tower now sits at the tallest point in the city of God—whose revenue is beyond counting.