A Tale of Two Repairs
Some of you know about some of the repair work I have done and attempted at this house here.
In time past I have done home repairs every so often.
If I can do it myself, why get someone else to do it? – That’s my reasoning.
In most homes I’ve lived in, they were rented, so I could rely on the landlord to take care of it.
And when it’s an apartment, I pay rent, so my rent will handle it.
In one house I lived in, the landlord said that I could take care of things and knock the cost from the rent.
Here, I’m not paying rent, so I do what I can to fix things around here.
But there are factors that get in the way, and I have to count the cost with each one.
That brings us to our text (Luke 14:25-33).
Jesus is teaching a lesson on commitment here, and the complete devotion we ought to have for our Lord.
It is a continual refrain throughout Luke’s gospel account.
He doesn’t accept half-measures. We are either all in or we are all out.
We can’t just sit on the fence when it comes to serving Him.
We can’t let family get in the way, we can’t let persecution and suffering get in our way, we can’t let our own struggles get in the way.
So what does this have to do with home repair?
Well, in both we must be willing to count the cost.
This evening, we will consider two home repairs that I have done (or attempted) here.
In both, counting the cost was essential, and yet it might still get to be more than you expect.
So here are three things can that help us to maintain that commitment.
These two repairs that we are considering this evening have to do with some plumbing.
In the past I have done a little bit of work, relying on my brother a little to double check and to offer some tips on occasion.
The one I did with the least amount of help was working on a toilet.
I don’t remember the exact problem the toilet had, really it was both toilets in that house, but I did have to replace the fill valve.
If you’re not familiar with that piece inside the toilet tank, just know that it’s rather easy to replace.
Of course that sort of thing makes you feel accomplished, and think that maybe all this just isn’t all that difficult.
That couldn’t be further from the truth, as we’ll see later.
But given the principles learned, then it shouldn’t be that hard to extrapolate from there other minor repair jobs.
The problem is identifying what is a minor job and what I am capable of doing.
There is always a danger of overestimating one’s abilities, while underestimating them could cost more than you want to spend.
Of course overestimating them can also lead to even more cost.
For our commitment to the Christian way of life, there are a lot of things to consider.
We all have varying degrees of experience whenever we come across any challenge, including Christianity.
It’s like a marriage, you have no idea what challenges you will face, but you are committed to one another—at least that’s how it should be.
You might have some experience with past relationships or the situations that you might face, but in the end you don’t know.
That’s why we take vows to remain faithful “in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, for better or for worse.”
That’s a similar commitment we must make to Christ, regardless of what comes.
Our family may turn against us, persecutions and hardships may come, but in the end we stick with Him.
But as with anything, research can help us prepare for these days.
The internet is a remarkable tool.
There is a lot of evil on there, but there is a lot of good and helpful information, too.
That’s why it’s so hard to swear off of it completely!
One of those things is how to troubleshoot and how to fix things.
So before I go headlong into a repair job of which I know little, I do a little digging.
I try not to bother my brother too much because I’m sure he gets tired of people always asking him for his help.
What I found, plus the past experience I had fixing that toilet along with some other things, I think I can handle a few minor repairs.
One of those was with the faucet in the kitchen sink.
Some of you know about that because, well, it was something I couldn’t handle on my own (next point).
But I didn’t know that at first.
The faucet was dripping constantly, so what can I do to fix that?
I also fixed the leaky bathroom sink upstairs (for the most part) – it’s an older model, and I remember what my brother told me on how to fix that in an old sink like that (it was very easy, just replace a very small part).
So how hard could it be with a kitchen sink?
So I did the research and thought I could handle it—I could not.
In fact, I ended up making the problem worse.
Where before, the faucet was leaking but usable, now it was leaking and unusable—the handle kept popping off.
Maybe it would have cost less to repair had I not bothered with it, or maybe the whole fixture needed to be replaced anyway, it’s hard to say.
In any event, that’s when we got in touch with some of the men to handle it or call a plumber—again, more on that later.
Sometimes that research is enough, though.
The toilet here was in need of repair—and that was something I had experience in.
I researched the problem, and discovered I needed a fill valve.
Yay! Another easy installation, but something unexpected happened.
As I was clipping on the fill tube onto the overflow tube, the overflow tube sheered completely off!
If you’re not familiar with those parts, basically what that means is the tank would never fill up.
So I researched ways to reattach it, and the only thing I found was that I had to replace the entire flush valve assembly.
That required removing the tank entirely, but it was after the hardware store closed, so I had to wait until the morning to work on it.
With a pregnant wife, you know that toilet needed to be fixed quickly!
Thankfully we had one upstairs, but it was still a hassle.
The fix wasn’t nearly as easy as replacing the fill valve, but it was still a good deal more involved.
Eventually, it got done, and now our water bill won’t be quite so high next month!
What’s the point?
Here are two situations, both had issues that complicated things, but one could be handled on my own with some research while the other could not.
Commitment in a relationship means that we are going to do whatever it takes to make it work, whether that be with a spouse or with our God.
I counted the cost as much as I could for both situations given my knowledge at the time, and one of them turned out to be too much for me to handle.
That’s how it is with our Christian walk—we may not always realize all the struggles that we might face.
It may end up being easier than we expected or far more difficult.
We all have different experiences which will determine how much we might need to research.
Growing up in a religious household will likely help us to be a Christian in many areas, thought not always.
We might be able to handle the issues of being a Christian on our own, but maybe we can’t.
It takes research, and thankfully we have a Book right here that can help us with that.
But if you’re not too familiar with it, it can seem daunting.
So that’s why you might ask others for help.
There is something to be said for working on something yourself.
You gain experience and skills and you find out what works for you.
I think it’s important to work on things yourself to see where you might end up.
There is that risk of making things worse, but sometimes you have to take that risk—note, I said sometimes.
There are many times when you have to realize it’s more than you can handle and you back off, letting others handle it.
It’s not always easy to admit, but there are times when we need help.
This is true for plumbing issues, and it’s also true for marriages.
Many times we can fix the issue we have with one another on our own, but sometimes we need help.
But we have to know the right source to go to.
I would not recommend going to your thrice married friend for marriage advice.
It might be difficult to get it from a single person, too, unless this single person has been trained in some way, like a counselor.
And that may be the type of person you need to go to, some kind of marriage counselor.
Preachers are often a great resource for that as are others experienced in the matter.
While not all of them are professional counselors (such as myself), we can still offer spiritual advice when it comes to that sort of thing.
As for our Christian walk, we have counted the cost based on the info we had at that moment.
And there’s no shame in admitting we need help, either in home repairs, in marriages, or as a Christian.
The Christian way of life is tough, especially for those not familiar with it.
But that’s what the church is for.
We are to help one another out when we need it, but we can’t help you unless we know the need.
Sometimes such needs can be anticipated, but not always.
We can’t go it alone, and that’s how God designed the church, so that we might help one another get to heaven.
If you need help, let us know.
This Christian life is difficult to get through on our own.
It may even be impossible.
There will inevitably come a time when you will need to make some repairs to your soul and your spiritual life.
Some hardship will come and it will test your faith, test your commitment to follow Christ.
There are different ways in which you can handle it.
Perhaps you have experienced something like it before, and know how to deal with it.
Perhaps you need to look up the best way to deal with it—incidentally, the sermon with the most hits on our website right now is, “The Dangers of Lust and How to Avoid It” from July 2019. People are researching it and hopefully applying the lessons learned.
Or perhaps you need to ask someone for help personally.
Any and all of these things are meant to help you get to heaven.
Here’s how you can get there…
Let us help you get there, maintaining your commitment to the Lord.
Be saved today!