Cyber Monday Deal


Blog 11.29.2021

Cyber Monday Deal

We love a good deal. The Air Force took me to a lot of different places throughout the globe. I enjoyed the immersion in a new culture, experiencing the differences between my everyday life and the nuances that other cultures observed. From the markets of South Korea to the souks of Saudi Arabia, they all have one thing in common, and they make a living on the barter system. The price negotiation places a lot of responsibility on the customer. As a customer, you need to know the approximate value of the item; whether it is a hand-stitched blanket or a gold necklace, a person needs to comprehend the value of the object to negotiate effectively. You have to know the value of the materials used and the amount of time an artisan would have spent on the item. Then you have to inspect the item to ensure there are no impurities or inconsistences in the material (some even take a magnet to make sure something isn’t gold plated). A cheap counterfeit item can ruin even the best deal. 

However, in our culture, we don’t like to barter for our goods. We want to see a reasonably priced item that we believe has a fair-marketed value, and then we make our purchase. In a system like this, there creates an attraction to a thing going on sale. We believe that all prices are appropriate and fair and that when it goes on sale, we are getting a better deal than if we bought it on a particular day. Shopkeepers in these other cultures caught on to our bartering ineptitude. And they began calling out attention-grabbing slogans from their storefronts to attract these westernized customers. My favorite instance of this tactic that I ever heard was, “Nearly free blanket!” Everyone loves a deal, and what is a better deal than getting something for “nearly free”? The deal was not nearly free, but it would grab your attention enough to get you in the door, and that is where negotiations could begin. 

All of humanity has entered into negotiations. We attempt to comprehend the value of certain items and try to exchange them for our benefit. Naturally, we want the best deal for a reasonable price. However, we have been hornswoggled, bamboozled, and tricked; the great deceiver has made us pay too high of a price for a counterfeit life… 

Romans 6:17-23 

 “But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I love how Paul frames this thought. He reflects on Jesus’ statements about serving two masters (Matthew 6:24) and brings it to a necessary conclusion. We are all slaves to either sin or God. If you choose to make in your master, you are free from righteousness and living a life that is pleasing to God. However, Paul warns us that this choice has a high price tag; its end is death. There is another option; it is a life that has chosen to “become obedient from the heart” and produces a far different result. The first option is a life hostile to God and a slave to sin, you can pay for this life, but it will be expensive. It will cost you your life. Or you can choose to enslave yourself to God, and you will receive a free gift. The free gift of eternal life in Jesus. 

Paul’s terminology is exceptional; you either pay for a life of sin with your own life or receive a gift that you don’t deserve. Which deal would you take? Is free a good enough price for eternal life? Do you understand the value of what is being offered? We would make far different choices if we understood the free gift of God. 


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