For every idea we buy into, we buy out of an array of alternatives.
- When we buy into a fundraising campaign, we may be buying out of a campaign for serving, evangelism, or small groups.
- When we buy into a men”s retreat, we may be buying out of an event for moms, families, or singles.
- When we buy into a sermon series on the topic of anger, we may be buying out of a series on purity, community, or wisdom.
Too often, our decision-making process only considers factors related to the option already on the table. Many of us are really good at breaking down and analyzing the potential results of buying into the idea we are discussing. We”ll rank pro”s and con”s, make a list of everyone affected by the decision, maybe even run a profit-loss report. The limitation in these methods is that they fail to look beyond the current option. They lack recognition of what is lost by choosing the evaluated idea over others.
Opportunity costs are the foregone benefits that would have been provided by unchosen alternatives.
The door to the best idea is often closed by the excitement of discovering the first good idea. A rare asset is found in the person who asks: If we buy into this, what are we buying out of?