Counting opportunity cost – spiritually speaking

By Dave Henning / February 5, 2020

“Spiritually speaking, counting opportunity cost is a moral calculation that involves a measure of faith.  And few things are more critical when it comes to your future. . . .   Sure, you can maintain the status quo and there will be no net loss.  There is no actual cost.  But the opportunity cost is staggering.”- Mark Batterson

“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)

In Chapter 11 (Opportunity Cost”) of Double Blessing, Mark Batterson talks about two kind of cost found in the world of economics.  Actual cost, Pastor Batterson states:

  • is an expenditure
  • shows up on your balance sheet as a liability
  • is relatively easy to account for

However, counting opportunity cost includes the hidden cost.  Furthermore, it’s the loss of potential gain, usually as a result of indecision or inaction.  Therefore, Mark compares counting the cost to a two-sided coin.  While most of us are adept at counting the actual cost, opportunity cost presents a challenge.  Because, the author observes, it involves scenario planning and systems thinking.  And taking the future into account brings many variables into play.

On January15, 1955, Stanley Tam, the founder of United States Plastic Corporation, divested himself of 51 percent of his shares.  And the new majority shareholder?  Why, that was Stanley’s Senior Partner – God.

Later, Mr. Tam divested himself of all his shares and went to work for his own company as a salaried employee.  Hence, he valued counting opportunity cost.  As a result, over the next sixty years Stanley gave away more than $120 million.  Above all, he influenced thousands of people to go all in with God.

In conclusion, Mark notes that most people increase spending in direct proportion to increases in income.  Therefore, they fail to set income ceilings.  But Stanley explained why he took no raises for three decades: “A man can eat only one meal at a time, wear only one suit of clothes at a time, drive only one car at a time.  All these I have.  Isn’t that enough?”

Today’s question: What Bible verses help you go all in with God?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “An income ceiling – simply set one”

About the author

    Dave Henning