This question will hopefully provoke people to pay attention to what they are doing or better yet, what they are not doing. Why does this matter? Because “neglect” is a costly endeavor. Oftentimes the price one ends up paying is more than they could have ever thought or imagined.
The following are a few areas of neglect that we will examine:
- Neglect to pay bills on time
- Neglect to teach children to listen and obey, the first time…without counting to 3
- Neglect to forgive those who do you wrong
- Neglect to read the Scriptures
- Neglect to ask Jesus to be your Savior
We will take a closer look at the price tags of such beginning with “neglecting to pay bills on time”. As we know any delinquent bill typically incurs additional debt so for illustration purposes we will look specifically at credit card bills.
When paid late the most evident price tag is paid through late fees which is about $35.00 as well as interest fees that average about 29% of the overall credit card debt.
What is not so evident, however, is the effect this has on one’s credit score. These numbers determine the interest rates if and when credit is extended. The lower the score the higher the rates. This credit score can also effect one’s auto and/or home insurance rate.
*It is important to count the cost when neglecting to pay bills on time.
Now let’s take a look at the next category, “neglecting to teach children to listen and obey…”
The evident cost is not necessarily in terms of finances. But, it does cost a parent/child relationship a lot of wasted time and energy and also turns peace into chaos. Most of us can use our imaginations or memories to see how this plays out.
The hidden and higher cost of this kind of neglect is even more apparent as the child grows and comes into contact with teachers and other figures of authority. Because the child has not been taught to listen and obey a stronghold develops and a poor reputation is established. The devastating effects this has in and on relationships extends to even those most intimate ones as the child grows.
Let me place these truths into a scenario which will give a more distinctive view.
A parent says, “On the count of 3 pick up your toys…its time to get ready for bed. 1…2…2 ½…2 ¾…if I get to 3 and they are not picked up I am going to pick them up and throw them away and you’re going to bed anyway…pause…3! Ok, that’s it…you’re going to bed now and I’m going to throw your toys away!”
The parent picks the child up, puts him to bed and then packs up the toys. However, the next morning…after the parent has calculated the financial investment made to purchase those toys…or feels guilty about the child not having their favorite toy to play with they return them to their little offender.
The child grows and goes to school. He is instructed to be quiet or to do the classwork but fails to comply. Then when he suffers any consequence for this he acts outraged…developing his reputation further.
At a teacher conference the parents are informed of his behavior. This is a great opportunity for the parent who has been negligent to take responsibility and repent…and support the teacher but if not…the child grows stronger in his deviant behaviors.
When realignment is neglected during this opportune time the child will go onto create greater hardships on himself and others. This is a Selah moment.
**It is important to count the cost when neglecting to teach children to listen and obey…
These few examples show us how our neglectful habits cost us time-wise and financially. Now let’s take a look at some other areas of neglect that will cost us even more than time or money. They will cost us eternally.
The first in this category is, “neglecting to forgive others”. I have heard it said, “They don’t deserve to be forgiven!” No matter what another has done…there are no exceptions to God’s command that says, “we must forgive others in order to be forgiven”. (Matthew 6:15)
This price tag is high. It will cost a person a right relationship with God…voiding their ticket to heaven, if they already have one. That is an eternal charge! The unwillingness to trust the Father’s way (to forgive) will cost eternity with the Father as well as with the loved ones who have already gone on before you.
When I think about those who have done me wrong I refuse to believe that holding on to their offense will satisfy my soul (mind, will, and emotions). Nobody is worth the price tag that hangs onto that refusal.
*It is important to count the cost when neglecting to forgive others.
Now let’s take a look at, “neglecting to read the Scriptures”. People have told me that they have read the Bible…once, as if it were a novel. Even if we could get a good overview with that first read we would need to be reminded along the way of the truth it proclaims.
I heard one preacher say, “You can go down into a coal mine and not touch a thing but when you emerge you would still have soot all over you.” Yuck…the first thing I’d want to do is go get a shower and put on some clean clothes.
Living in this world is like that coal mine..we get dirty just being in it. The scriptures say that we are to be cleansed by the washing of the water of the word. (Ephesians 5:26) The word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path which directs the way we think and act.
Without a daily reading of the word the ways of the world has the same effect on us that the coal mine does…it covers us up with soot. It makes us unclean…dirty looking. When we neglect the reading of the word we very quickly blend in with the darkness of this world rather than being the light that we are called to be. (Matthew 5:14) When we do not fulfill that mission what does it cost us?
We may not be able to calculate the total cost of this negligence until Judgement Day, however, that day will come. God will reveal what could have/should have/would have been if only we had done what He told us to do. But in the mean-time it cost us the abundant life that was intended for us
*It is important to count the cost when neglecting to read the word.
The last area of neglect is the most important. “Neglecting to ask Jesus to be Savior”. Wow! What price tag is on that one? Not only will the door be closed to us for eternity in heaven with Christ but we will not experience the forgiveness from the Father that Jesus died to give us. This price is the highest.
The bible says, that there is only one way to the Father (who lives in heaven). Jesus, the son of God, willingly died to give us this access. He is the Savior!
Why do we need a Savior? In Hebrews 1 God made it very clear that Jesus is perfect and those of us that were not would suffer consequently.
The truth is, none of us measure up. That means we need someone that can save us from the wrath of God. Jesus is the only one that can protect us. Hebrews 2:3-4 says “How shall we escape, if we neglect such a great salvation…”
If you have never asked Him to be your Savior do not neglect this opportunity! He is knocking at the door of your heart, so invite Him in.
What will it cost to neglect such a great salvation? Your eternal home. That price is toooooooo high.
*It is important to count the cost when neglecting to ask Jesus to be your Savior.
Make Him Savior and Lord today.