Back as a kid, there was a house on the way to school that lay unfinished for the longest time. It seemed that the owners were so burdened, they could not finish constructing their house. From afar, it was a seemingly beautiful mansion,  but when you took a closer look the house was abandoned and inhabitable.

How many unfinished houses can you count in your neighborhood?

“Is there anyone here who, planning to build a new house, doesn’t first sit down and figure the cost so you’ll know if you can complete it? If you only get the foundation laid and then run out of money, you’re going to look pretty foolish. Everyone passing by will poke fun at you: ‘He started something he couldn’t finish.”

Count the cost.

These three words give us the answer to unfinished houses.

Do we count the cost?

photo credit: bbcworldservice via photopin cc

An “unfinished house” is one which could be better, whose potential has been untapped, whose glory is hidden and whose treasure is unexplored. It could be a person, a relationship or areas of stagnation.

Using the concept of unfinished houses, lets apply that to our personal lives and use three areas in your life that could probably be unfinished:

  1. Your personal life:
Have you ever considered that you are under construction? That probably you walk around with the sign, “Under Construction” on your forehead literally.
DaveArnold puts it this way, “The truth is, there are a lot of hungry people in the world. They’re hungry for meaning, hope, belonging and love. ”
I wonder if all these hungry people are getting filled from the right sources. I presume hunger would naturally as it does, prompt us to look to get filled. Sometimes we end up eating junk and ultimately junk is all that we produce.
We may find it expedient to go through the motions in life at the expense of what really matters. It is quite easy to stay defeated by other people’s opinions. We can throw our hands in despair to say, “It cannot be done.” Quickly an assumption is stamped as the truth.
Can we afford to walk through life with our hands in the pocket? Count the cost.
  • Question assumptions you have made. Pass them through the test of truth, do they hold water. Jessica Cox holds a Guinness World Record 2011 as ‘The First Armless Person in the World Ever to Have Obtained a Pilot’s License.’ What are your perceived limitations?
  • Choose to frame your questions differently. You have to realize that asking the right question prompts a correct answer. 5 + 5 = ? is a question that closes your imagination while ? + ? = 10 opens up your imagination to endless possibilities.
  • Rather than pointing out problems, seek solutions. You can the missing link. Be the change.
  1. Your relationships:
Our relationships are “Under Construction.” Since man is not an island, we can safely say that at any one point you will be dealing with other people.
How you relate with other people mirrors how you relate with yourself. They say that a wife mirrors the husband. The children mirror the home. A team is as strong as its weakest member.

“When we treat man as he is, we make him worse than he is; when we treat him as if he already were what he potentially could be, we make him what he should be.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

If you are constructing a house, you start work with the architects drawing. It is a blueprint of what the end product will look like. People are similar. Treat them as potentials and they will blossom.

  1. Areas of stagnation:

Stagnation is a sign of death. I know quite a strong statement but true nonetheless. “Unfinished houses” are stagnant. There is no change, you walk by from day to day and it is just the same. Frederick Douglass said, “Inaction is followed by stagnation. Stagnation is followed by pestilence and pestilence is followed by death.”

Familiarity breeds complacency. Whenever comfort begins you had better seek to move, since comfort borders so much on the danger zone. When everything is okay, they might not be okay after all.

Are there areas in your life that you perceive stagnancy? It may not take a day to change in that area. Begin with small steps. Ask the tough questions. Any area of unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, lying – you name it – needs to go for real growth to take its place.

I love how Floyd says it here, “There are times in life that we do the same thing; we ignore reality… It’s done with small things and bigger things alike…That’s the easiest thing to do isn’t it? Pretend it’s not there.”

It may not be easy, regardless choose to face reality today. Face your fears and choose to change what has been stagnant. Then you will begin to move past the familiar. Take action now.

What do “Unfinished houses” mean to you? Are you under construction and dowe need to Count the cost? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

JAMES 1:24

The Message (MSG)
22-24 Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.