TNSTAAFL

Totally Free

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” – 2 Corinthians 8:9

Back in the day, I studied economics at UTDallas, instructed by the legendary Bernard Weinstein, PhD.  On Day One, Dr. Weinstein taught the fundamental theory of economics:  There’s. No. Such. Thing. As. A. Free. Lunch.  TNSTAAFL.  Now, that was some time ago, and our culture has continued its devolutionary slide into an entitlement State, raising up a generation so accustomed to getting free stuff that TNSTAAFL is a foreign concept rather than a sound economic principle.  Somehow the government mysteriously produces goods and services out of thin air and makes them available free to all who apply.  It’s a curious disengagement from rationality.

Believers in Christ, though, sometimes function similarly with regard to the amazing grace poured out on us through Jesus.  “It’s free!  And it doesn’t cost me anything!”  True, but that’s only the viewpoint from the side of the recipient.  Grace began somewhere, somehow, before it was ever given.

My first “staff” person was a young German, Klaus Breuer, who I brought to Texas to serve as youth pastor in the church I led.  Among the myriad culture “shockers” for Klaus (and I’m sure there were more than I knew) was the American marketing scheme of free stuff.  He was particularly incensed by the slogan, “Buy One, Get One Free!”  To my friend, this was a blatant falsehood, because clearly the buyer was actually paying for both…somewhere, somehow. How dare that advertiser say that I was getting something for free!

When it comes to the grace of God, no person becomes “rich” except that Someone else became “poor”.  This grace cost the Giver.  As someone has said, it may be free, but it isn’t cheap.  So, then, it’s really not free at all.  I am now rich, but it cost Christ everything.

Thanks Professor Weinstein and mein Bruder, Klaus, for teaching me to always value what Christ has done for me!

He paid a debt He did not owe, I owed a debt I could not pay, I needed Someone to wash my sins away.  And now I sing a brand new song, “Amazing Grace”, my Jesus paid the debt that I could never pay!

– Eric

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