Who doesn’t love free stuff? We all do! This was easy to see as a college recruiter when I’d hand out free pens. You would think that elementary and high school students could not care any less about a utensil for schoolwork, but they would go nuts! “We can keep this? Cool!” For just a simple pen, kids would act like they had won the lottery.
When I teach my history classes, I make a point to spend time defining “free” or “freedom.” I have found that the common misconception is that free stuff is exactly that, free. Freedom, therefore, can be defined as doing whatever you want to do at no cost. Is that true though? Consider the pens. Yes, the student had to do nothing to receive it, but was there a cost? Absolutely there was! The university had to spend a good deal of money to have enough of those pens to distribute to all the students. Granted, the cost per pen was minimal but there was a cost.
Here’s another illustration I like to use. If we live in a “free” country, we should have the right or freedom to do whatever we wish. (This point is usually quickly agreed upon.) Therefore, if I wish to rob a bank, I have the freedom to do so. (Again, no disagreement.) To be completely free, though, I’d have to be able to rob the bank without any obstructions or consequences. (Here is where it all falls apart.) Technically, since everyone is free to do as they wish, the bank teller would also be free to pull a shotgun to keep me from robbing his bank. If he were to kill me, that would fall under his right to do as he pleases. In a state such as this, rather than freedom, you have chaos.
What we need to understand is that, in order for things to be completely free, someone must pay an awesome price. Politicians in the United States believe that things like healthcare and education should be free. What they don’t point out is that, for those things to be free, the cost for everything else must go up and be covered by more people. We enjoy many freedoms in our country all of which are made possible through hard work, legal and moral boundaries, even our armed forces sacrificing their lives.
All that being said, there is something that is 100% free though it also came at a great price. God has promised us eternal life by simply accepting His gift of salvation made possible through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son. Because Christ paid the ultimate price, we have been granted an amazing opportunity to partake of God’s gift at no cost.
The next time you are rejoicing at receiving something for free, consider the cost. Take time to be grateful for the blessings we have been given. Look for opportunities to remind others of the cost of their freedom. Share the free gift that God has given us.
As always, draw nearer to God each day by…
Walking in Him!