Monday, July 20, 2015

Count the Cost

 “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”—Joshua 24:15, NIV

Pinnacle Leadership Associates has a model for coaching called Disciple Development Coaching©.  There are six steps in the process:  Ask, Listen, Explore, Design, Commit, and Support.  There were not always six steps in the process.  When Mark Tidsworth asked me to partner with him on teaching DDC, we simplified the model a bit.  In our discussions, I argued against including the Commit step.  I felt that it was redundant.  When we were doing the training one time, I was supposed to lead the discussion of that step, but I abdicated to Mark at the last minute.

As I have continued to train people in the model, however, I have come to see the importance of the Commit step.  Someone can go through the first four steps and have a very workable plan, but for one reason or another, they are not ready to commit to the hard work of pursuing their goal.  Perhaps the goal no longer engages their passion, things are changed in their life and it is no longer a priority, or maybe it just looks like too much work.  The Commit step is the time to stop and count the cost of pursuing the goal.

When Joshua challenged the people of Israel and asked for their commitment to follow God, he did not let them off easily.  After their declaration of their allegiance to God, Joshua comes back and says, 

“Joshua said to the people, ‘You are not able to serve the Lord. He is a holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins.  If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, he will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end of you, after he has been good to you.’” (vv. 19-20)

Joshua warns them to count the cost of what they are committing to do.  He reminds them that it won’t be easy and God will not be forgiving of their failures.  The commitment will not be without sacrifice.  When I am coaching someone and we come to the Commit step, I often ask, “How much time are you willing to give to this goal each week?”  The client will sometimes be confused and suddenly realize that if he or she agrees to do this, it will take time, energy, and hard work.

Joshua was calling the people to a covenant commitment, one which should not be taken lightly.  He said, ‘You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to serve the Lord.” (v. 22).  What you have pledged before God, you will be expected to do.

In a coaching relationship, the choice of the client does not determine the future of a race, but the Commit step reminds a person that commitments are not to be entered into lightly.  Whether the commitment is to God, oneself, or a neighbor, it must be taken seriously. When we commit, we need to count the cost involved.

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