Spiritual Growth: A Cost Analysis

Dec 1, 2010, Written by Sue Miley

I have been writing posts about:

living a life of values regardless of the cost

speaking up for what you believe in

achieving when most people would give up

I have shared these thoughts as if it is something I know and believe in and want you to be able to experience.  Like it is a message from God that I have heard and embraced my whole life.

What I am realizing today is that maybe God has put this on my heart because I have been complacent.  Maybe it isn’t a coincidence that I would hear testimonies of individuals who have triumphed against all odds.

Maybe God has sent difficult clients to me that pushed these thoughts to the forefront, and in the process of sharing, have begun to sink in to my heart again.

He Shows Me My Complacency

Today I shared a system of managing a business and people that I created when I was building and running a chain of 30 coffee houses.  It is a simple, yet complex, process that keeps the priorities and the big picture always in view while providing a tool to manage the details of the business.

As I was sharing it with a client, he said “this is a unique system that you can really help people with”.  I explained how ideally it would be an internet based system that could be used in small and large companies.

BUT, I haven’t wanted to invest or find an investment of the large sum of money it would take to get it programmed.

Hmmm….so if it isn’t easy it stays on the back burner.

If it cost me something it will have to wait.

He Shows Me His Worth

Then my marketing coach, who reads my blog, sends me an email a few minutes ago sharing a bible verse that he felt the theme of my posts were foreshadowing.

“The core idea is that things that are worth anything have a cost.”

He summarized,

1 Chronicles 21

After committing a sin that causes the Lord to send a plague that takes 70,000 lives, King David is commanded to build an alter in order to spare the rest of the city’s inhabitants.

The angel of the Lord commands him to take a man’s place of business, a Threshing Floor, as the spot to build the alter. The man, Araunah naturally offers to give it freely to the King and to the Angel, whom he also sees.

But David says, “No, I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing.”

How interesting that I would go from a conversation about a potential product that I truly believe will help so many people, yet will cost me too much to produce….

…..to reading this email referencing King David who contends that if it is worthy of the Lord it MUST cost something!

He Showed Me His Faithfulness

And between the two examples above,  I received an email from a client I had really, really pushed hard yesterday.  Why?  Because I knew that the pain they would experience dealing with their issues was worth the reward of the relationship this person could have with God and the plan God has for their life.

I see it so clearly for others.

After the session I feared that I may have pushed too hard.  It’s easy for me to say, it isn’t my pain.  But I believe it so strongly for you and you and you.

The client emailed me that it was the push they needed to move forward.  Praise God.

Again though, was it a lesson for me?

He Showed Me My Fear

I have been reticent recently to push clients.  Is it fear of losing clients?  Is the cost too great?

If I see so clearly for my clients and friends how their values, convictions, and dreams are worth the price of the trials to pursue them….

Why do I stay safely within the parameters of following my dreams when it is only a little hard, a bit costly, and makes me just a tad bit uncomfortable?

He Asks For My Faith

I believe God is trying to illustrate to me my safe little box through these contrasts and conversations.  He has written my last few blog posts for me, maybe as well as you.

I am not sure if I am to put the investment and time into this potential product or stretch myself through a new level of challenge to my clients.  He may be preparing me to start something completely new.

But, I am pretty sure the last couple of years of comfortable achievement is not what He has in mind for my future.

I believe He is asking me to once again step out in faith.

Because He Is Faithful

I wrote to a former mentor recently remembering the impact he had in our lives,

“It is important to Jim (my husband) and I that we spend our lives serving God. That will not change. And you were a big part of that change in our life direction.”

And as I write this post, I remember that twice this week I was told by individuals I haven’t seen in awhile, how the story of our transformation (salvation) is their favorite testimony of God’s redeeming power.  Yes, I was in that bad a shape before the Holy Spirit came to dwell.  But how likely would this come up in one week.

It is like God is using these friends to remind me of His faithfulness when I trust and surrender to His will.  Have I forgotten my very own story?   It is certainly one of triumph, all be it God’s.

And the cost was high in the world’s terms-

  • a rift from my jewish family and heritage
  • leaving behind a fifteen year career to pursue God’s work
  • sacrificing the rewards of worldly success (standard of living) for the fruit of the Holy Spirit

To truly serve God in my mission for Christian Business Crossroads, I must be willing to continuously step out in faith, sacrifice gladly, and persevere.

Just as King David pointed out in building an altar for the Lord,

“No, I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing.”

Why should it cost us something in order to glorify God?

Because it cost Him.  He made the ultimate sacrifice for me.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

What about you?  Are your values worth sacrificing for?  Is God’s vision for your life worth the cost?  Isn’t God Himself worth it?  I believe so!

Reader Interactions


  1. Bradley J. Moore says

    Your marketing friend is so right – anything we do that is of any value is going to cost. It is also going to take longer and require more effort than we ever considered at the outset. That’s just how things go. Better to count the cost up front. But why settle for anything less? That would just be boring, wouldn’t it?

    Thanks Sue, again for a thought-provoking and vulnerable post that I will be thinking about today.

  2. L.L. Barkat says

    I think we always sacrifice for our values, but as your question suggests, some values may not be worth the sacrifice we make for it. Either way, we sacrifice though. Dedication compels it.

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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