We’ve all heard it before…”It’s FREE….Just Pay…”
I find this concept mind boggling! What I love most about infomercials is the count down of seconds left until the timer reads 0:00 which indicates the end of the extra incentive or free gift added to the deal being offered. While we still are left to pay for something that is advertised as, “…FREE…Just…” I get the idea, the count down means time is running out…make a decision QUICK, you don’t want to let this moment pass you by…you may never get this opportunity/this offer/this deal/this chance ever again…it’s pressure…and I get it!
However, it has happened to me before, where I’ve seen an infomercial on a Monday and the timer counts down to the last second where I could possibly get a free gift or added bonus to something that is supposed to be/advertised as free that I end up paying shipping and handling for, anyway, I digress…and the moment passes…I’ve changed the channel, walked away, didn’t call to grab on that thing…then Thursday comes with the same offer of the deal and the extra bonus gift with that same timer counting down that I had seen on Monday evening. I thought…well, I was made to believe that Monday was the last time I could possibly have what was being offered as a gift with a deal that was free and I still had to pay to get it…again, I digress.
I begin to think, was this really a deal at all?
This commercialized and media conveyance of what FREE is….is seemingly COSTLY!!!
Now, I can appreciate that neither the advertisement nor the announcer says, “Just pay for…” and instead project a sense of worth of cost with, “just pay shipping & handling” as if that cost ought to be expected and disregarded as a cost. What I find interesting is the use of the words: FREE & JUST… *and sometimes the word (free) GIFT if that little timer appears on the screen…
We’ve all heard it before, from whoever has said it to us, from whoever has presented something to us, from whoever has given us something that we had to pay for…AT the time of agreeing to accept the cost because of our want for this deal that we couldn’t pass up….We’ve all been there and have had experiences that…’In Other Words ~ It Wasn’t Free’
“You can join…JUST…”
“You can be with me…JUST…”
“You can forgive yourself later…JUST…”
This word JUST…has always been interesting to me…Just….I understand this word as a vehicle to disregard the costs…the costs associated with things that are presented as FREE to us and for us…always applied to something, someone, some place, some group, some habit that is appealing to us…I could imagine Jesus in the fourth chapter of the Matthew’s gospel where the tempter comes while he is in the wilderness…offering things to Him that were appealing because of His circumstance….His vision of now and not when I come out of this…His focus on His famished condition…I can hear the tempter saying to Jesus…”You can have [__________________________________] (<— insert whatever you want/need/desire/can’t pay for/etc.) if you JUST…” C’mon Jesus! You don’t have to go through what you are going through…I can get you out of here…JUST….You are famished and I know where we can get you food…JUST…As a matter of fact, you know everything I know-why do you choose to stay here, in the wilderness? JUST…”
Jesus kept replying to the tempter’s offer(s) by saying, “It is written…” Jesus wasn’t willing to pay the cost of what the tempter presented in order for Him to disregard the cost…There ARE costs…Just as the advertisements and announcers mention shipping and handling-the tempter did too…JUST pay with your bowing down to me…JUST pay with turning these stones into bread…JUST do whatever is required of you to get you what is supposed to be FREE….
Let us consider where we find ourselves…what we’ve paid for that was presented to us as FREE or a GIFT…and even when we JUST did some things, went some places, hung out with some people because it never seemed that we were ‘paying FOR’ anything — that we were just paying what was required…that there was a cost beyond what was presented…Would we do it over?
I’m learning that looks are deceiving and whether or not we see what is rather than what is presented…we still end up JUST paying FOR what isn’t shown to us up front…what is shipping and handling anyway? Well, I know what it is but I mean that is someone’s job…they are already getting paid…why are we paying for something that has already been paid for? Oh yeah, it was the last time we could get it for that price…All I’m saying is: things cost.
In the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the bible, in Romans, ” When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. So what advantage did you then get from the things of which you now are ashamed? The end of those things is death. But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the FREE GIFT of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6: 20-23
It’s alright to have paid whatever price was necessary, but now it’s time to forgive yourself! The cost of eternal life wasn’t free until Christ Jesus our Lord died for our JUST doings…He died and gave us access to the timer of those count downs on infomercials…He died and is still making the offer for us to accept a FREE GIFT! The cost is death, which He paid and the gift is given if we accept His paying of the price.
Sometimes, things are presented as free and we still have to pay costs…in those times we have to weigh our willingness to pay…because the cost is presented…this means that we have to accept and agree to the cost. In other words – it ain’t free!
BUT…in other times…we seek out the truth and find that nothing in life is free except death..and if we accept the death of One who wanted to give a FREE GIFT to us…We will have life eternally, without JUST paying!
Stay blessed, a blessing & encouraged!