Christ bade the people to reflect that to follow Him required utter self-sacrifice, detachment from all earthly ties, and carrying the cross. To stress the seriousness of the choice He proposed a parable, taken from everyday life. Before a man proceeds to build, he ought to ascertain both the cost and his own financial standing, lest becoming insolvent before the building be completed he be made the butt of ridicule by his fellows. The literal meaning is “Ere you decide to follow Me and become My disciples, reflect whether you are ready to bring the required sacrifices.” This parable may be applied to the striving after perfection, and to the common Christian life, since both are building up towers of faith and character.
“If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, `This man began to build, and was not able to finish.'”
– Luke 14:26-30, Revised Standard Version