We normally ask that question when we want to know a price, but I often ask it of myself regarding: How much do I need to cut down on food? How much weight should I loose? How much accumulated junk should I toss? How well do I represent my Master?
I know my motivations and failures well enough to say, without quibbling, that I am certainly not a health-nut or a neatie (in fact, I’m a bit of a slob), which leads me to the inescapable, fourth question above … you know, the one that’s hard to face, let alone repeat.
Thing is, health-nuts and neaties may be that way because such values were instilled in them, due to pride, or even because they wish to glorify God with every area of their lives. Plus, there’s a whole slew of related questions as well: How do I treat my family? How do I spend my discretionary income? How do I spend my free time? How open am I to express my faith?
God’s Word says if we belong to Christ, we are His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20). Do any state’s ambassadors live just as their whims move them? Well, occasionally, but they don’t keep their jobs long. Jesus said in Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. (15) Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. (16) In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” And in 1 Peter 2:12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. These passages aren’t just guidelines, or even principles; they are commands that we must obey if we want to fulfill our calling and election as God’s holy priests. 2 Peter 1:10 tells us, Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.
What’s that? You say you’re not a priest?
You’re a Christian, aren’t you? 1 Peter 2:9 says, But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his (God’s) own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
If any Catholics have read this far, please note that the last three Bible quotes are from St. Peter. You can’t find a stronger imprimatur than that. All who claim to live in Christ’s name, as you do in the Sign of the Cross, are obligated to live accordingly.
So, salvation is free, but how much does living for Christ cost? Everything!