Counting the Cost of Success

Carolyn Overway

READ : Luke 14:25-35

You started building but could not finish the job (v. 30 CEV)

Stories are great teaching tools. Jesus was the best story teller. Behind every story was a message. To some that message was hidden. To others, it was suddenly clear like the flick of a light bulb when switched on. Today’s story about counting the cost to be Jesus’ disciple is very clear. We have learned that our expectations and principles based on oft-repeated Bible truths are not readily understood by Kenyan believers.

Christopher, a sincere Kenyan teen, wanted to go to high school. An American doctor came to visit. Each morning Christopher joined him for calls on sick folks. Dr. Steve saw great potential in him and promised to help him through school. Christopher’s perception was: “This doctor will pay my way for the rest of my life! Dr. Steve intended: “I will pay four years’ tuition.” That limit remains hidden to Christopher. He sends letters continually to Dr. Steve asking for more assistance. Both are disappointed.

When missionaries enter another culture, helping the nationals succeed requires that they understand local ways, traditions and expectations. We are guests. We must change, adjust, and realize that their ways are not weird. We must learn how to blend our cultural understandings and help all of us together to achieve the high goals God has set for us. – Carolyn Overway


Lord, help us to be sensitive learners as we strive to inspire and help people of very diverse cultures and backgrounds.