There I am, sitting at the table at a major car/truck/van dealer in KK and the deal is looking ok. I ask the salesperson if the quoted price is the true lowest they can go and she proceeds to tell me that if I don’t want all the free stuff then the price will be lowered by about $600.
“I thought it was free stuff,” I said politely with a smile.
“It is free,” she said in the same manner.
“So, if I don’t want the free stuff I get to keep $600 of my money?” I said a little confused but trying to get absolute clarity.
“That’s right,” she said.
“But, if I give you $600 more you will include the free stuff?”, I said being somewhat of a dork trying to make a point.
“Yes!”, she said victoriously having broke through to my understanding.
“How is that free, if I have to buy it?” I asked.
“It is free, but maybe we can give you the free stuff and lower the cost by $600, will that make you happy?” she asked honestly.
“That may work out just fine,” I said as I laughed to myself.
No wonder it is hard for people to understand the concept of free, and how to use “free” correctly. Granted, all the free stuff must cost someone, but not the one who is receiving it as free.
This will help me to attempt to be as clear as possible when I explain to my friends the free grace of God and then the cost of following him. It cost Jesus, but we receive salvation without cost, and then we join in with Christ and His death and consider the cost of sharing the love we have found with others. As Jesus gave out of freedom and love, so do we, with the help of the Holy Spirit. Salvation is free, it is paid in full by Christ. Joining in the work of the gospel costs. It may cost you your job, your relationships, your image, even your preference of hymns or modern worship music. You may even join in with the saints before us and all over the world today who are willing to die because of the superior love of Jesus. So, it is important to know what is free and what costs, especially when it comes to faith in Christ, so we can clearly consider the costs of following Jesus as a privilege and joy, not as payments to receive His forgiveness, power, and life. We don’t love others and desire for them to know Christ in order to win the affections of God, but because of them. We give out of our new ability to give. The costs are real, but they are different, they submit to a greater joy, love, and calling in order to see more truth, experience more joy and love, and bring others along as we go. The costs I am talking about are the things we are willing to forgo or leave behind in order to live as those who have been set free. So in the end we are set free to see how free “free” really is.
So maybe I need to consider how my life can be lived in more freedom. Just because we have left family, friends, and much of the familiar does not mean that we are doing so in faith and with freedom. We must daily pour our lives out, seeing that we need to die to our selfishness day by day, and live in God’s free love, by His free Indwelling, for the freest being, God Himself, so that He will be glorified and we and those around us may be full of unmerited satisfaction.