Choice is Costly

Last updated on : July 24th, 2014

By Ngounibou Thiumai


There is no cheap choice. Every choice costs something whether big or small. Thoughtless decisions may be the costliest choice, but sometimes, right choices cost more than wrong choices.

Choosing to help an old man crossing the road is risky. It costs at least something. Even if no car hits both of you, you have paid the price of courage.

Missionary Jim Eliot, who was martyred by the Auca Indians of Ecuador in 1957, along with his four other missionary companions, once said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Church History is filled with stories of men and women who lost their lives because of their unshakable faith in Christ Jesus. Such choice is costly indeed, yet the recompense they will receive excels more than they have paid for.

A woman by the name Portia, in William Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, was said to be an unspeakably beautiful woman. She had countless suitors of noble birth who wanted to marry her. But her father determined himself to choose her husband by a certain test. The test was to choose the right chest out of the three chests.The first chest was made of gold. On top of the chest, it was inscribed; ‘who chooseth me shall gain what many man desire’. Inside that first chest was a skull. The second was made of silver and on the lid, it was inscribed:’who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves.’ Inside the chest was a picture of a fool. The third chest was made of lead with the inscription, ‘who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath’. Inside the chest was the beautiful picture of Portia. It is said that all the suitors except Bassanio chose one of the first two chests. Bassanio humbly picked the chest made of lead and got Portia as his wife.

Like Bassanio, a man who is prepared to suffer and is not frightened by the price of sacrifice will find precious reward.The choices we make may not be pleasurable and temporarily harmful, but the recompense we are to receive in the future excels much more. A time will come when you will stand at a forked road and wonder what to decide. Choose the road that is straight and narrow, for it leads you to a broad and pleasant place some day Historian William H. Prescott recorded an account of an incident in the career of General Francisco Pizarro, Spanish invader of Peru. He wrote: “At a moment of crisis Pizarro drew his sword and traced a line with it on the sand from East to West. Then, turning toward the South, “Friends and comrades,” he said, “on that side are toil, hunger, nakedness, the drenching storm, desertion, and death; on this side ease and pleasure. There lies Peru with its riches; here, Panama and its poverty. Choose, each man, what best becomes a brave Castilian. For my part, I go to the South.”

What I consider to be the hardest thing for every human being to do is choosing the hardest thing first. The common tendency is to play first and pay later. Jesus said, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it”(Matt.16:25). Another time Jesus taught the disciples on how to make better spiritual choice in Matthew. 7:13. He said, “Enter ye in at the straight gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there at: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

The above article is an excerpt from the book Beware or Bewail. To purchase the book online click the following link: or Bewail