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But Afterwards

But don't begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?  Luke 14:28 NLT

Photo courtesy of pixabay.When on vacation, charging things to your room is an easy, stress-free luxury. No need to carry cash, credit cards, or even your wallet. Simply say, “Please charge this to my room.”

But afterward …

My wife and I recently enjoyed vacationing on one of Hawaii’s beautiful islands. Our resort offered extravagant amenities along with the pampering expected in such a setting. One such amenity was charging everything to our room–dining, shopping, tours, and excursions. Whatever we bought on the resort property could be charged to our room.

The carefree ability to charge things to the room clouded the “but afterward” of getting the bill when we checked out. Fortunately, we are financially responsible, and our final bill was what we anticipated. However, I’ve heard horror stories of giddy spending sprees ending abruptly when faced with a staggering, unexpected bill.

With a career in banking, I understand the benefits and consequences associated with easy access to charging—especially using credit cards. If managed responsibly, the convenience comes in handy. If not, the consequences can be damaging for years to come. Prudent foresight removes the regret of hindsight.

One of Steven Covey’s mantras is, “Begin with the end in mind.” Jesus encouraged first counting the cost before starting an endeavor.

Living life with a long-term “but afterward” approach seems more prudent than a carefree, spendthrift, short-term orientation. Willfully choosing to touch a hot stove brings pain and possibly a scar. Our God-given freedom to choose doesn’t save us from the results. All the more reason to make wise, unregrettable choices.

Even when we think we know how something will end or believe we will get our desired outcome, Solomon warns, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 16:25).

Align your desires and choices with God’s moral standards so you won’t be left staring at a “but afterward” bill too high to pay.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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Nate Stevens

A lifelong student of Scripture, Nate Stevens has also enjoyed a forty-year banking career in a variety of leadership roles. He is the author of: Matched 4 Life (book and workbook), Deck Time with JesusTransformed: Until Christ is Formed in YouConformed: Into the Likeness of ChristInformed: Living by God’s Absolute Truth, and God’s Secret Place. He is also a contributing author on several of the Moments Books series (Billy Graham Moments, Romantic Moments, Divine Moments, Spoken Moments, Christmas Moments, Stupid Moments, and Broken Moments). He writes online articles for ChristianDevotions.us and KingdomWinds.com, as well as several other ministries. Additionally, he co-founded and leads Fusion, a Christian singles ministry. A popular speaker and teacher at conferences, seminars, and Bible study groups, he speaks on a wide variety of topics. Nate has two adult children. He and his wife, Karen, live near Charlotte, North Carolina. Follow Nate and find more resources at: www.natestevens.net