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Of course, years down the line, I realize the economic principle applies to our spiritual lives as well. In this episode, I’ll share:
Next Week’s Topic: The Power of Your Decisions
So, let’s get right into this episode. I want to take you back to my sophomore year in high school and I’m sitting in Mr. Mira’s Econ class – I still remember my teacher’s name; that’s how good of a teacher he was – and what he shared that day was a concept called “TANSTAAFL.” Of course, that’s an acronym for “There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch,” and that includes that bad grammar – that “ain’t” part. And what that really means is that any time we get a discount, if there’s anything free, someone somewhere is paying for that part of what we don’t pay.
So, for instance, when you go to Walmart and you get a cheap piece of clothing, that’s because it’s paid for by the cheap labor overseas, and I mean a lot more than just by cheap wages. If you remember recently, there was the factory fire in Bangladesh where Walmart, JC Penney, and a few other retailers had clothing made and then, of course, sold here in the stores in the US marked up at incredible rates.
But the point is that, regardless of how cheap it is, someone somewhere is paying for it and, generally, the cheaper it is, the more someone else is paying for that.
Of course, that happens here with the government as well. Food companies use corn products in just about everything for the simple fact that the government subsidizes it, and I’m not going to take a side on that, I don’t think there’s a real issue right now. But the point is that anything we pay for, and we don’t pay full price, someone else is paying for that, and that’s something that’s kind of stuck with me in high school, through college, now on my master’s program, and I wonder if there was anything more to this TANSTAAFL than met the eye. I understand it applies to economics, but I’m going to suggest that the same principle applies to our spiritual lives.
So, if you’re a Christian, then I’m talking to you because you have received what’s called salvation. You have had your sins forgiven by Jesus’ death and resurrection on the Cross, and sometimes that’s referred to as the Gift of Salvation. In fact, I myself used to say that what God gave us was essentially something free that cost us nothing. And, of course, because it cost us nothing, it actually cost God everything. So, is it any wonder that he has the audacity to actually place demands on those who decide to follow him? And, yes, I’m being sarcastic about the audacity part; I think he has every right to. But, even then, following Christ has the potential to cost us something as well – or at least it seems like it would.
I want to tell you a quick story. While I was in the Marine Corps, I wasn’t much different than every other marine – I cussed, I smoked, I drank – you name it, I did it. And that was the first time, though, that my faith was actually challenged. And it was during that time of being brought through the fire of getting my faith really challenged, of having to question, “Is this something that I’m willing to put on the line?” Because, what it ended up costing me as I started taking my faith seriously and decided to commit my life to Christ, it ended up costing me friends, and these are friends who I’d been to combat with, we’d been shot at, blown up together, we’d been to boot camp together. I mean, these were guys that were my brothers and I expected to maintain that deep friendship many years past the Marine Corps. In fact, a best friend even told me that he wouldn’t come to my wedding because he didn’t like how I was acting.
Let me end this story with a good note though, of course. Thankfully, almost all of those friendships have been restored. But the point is this: When I decided to follow Christ and really follow him in an environment where it was not beneficial, where no one else was doing it, it really cost me something and that’s something I have not forgotten, and I can only imagine how much more God, when He looks at what we do, He says, “You know what? It’s not costing you anything, but it did cost me everything.”
In conclusion, I hope that you understand that this episode wasn’t going to be about God and money – about we don’t operate in our economy, we operate in God’s economy, and He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. I mean, there’s plenty of stuff on that already and, while I might do an episode on that in the future, I don’t think now is the time for that – there’s plenty of other false teachings about that.
But the point of all this is to appreciate the gift of salvation that we have, and that’s part of how you can live life better – by going through life aware of what we have and the price that was paid to attain it.
So, my question to you is this: What else in life is “free” but comes at a price?
To comment on this episode, go to my blog at philipdevine.com/episode02.
And, finally, my next podcast topic will be on the power of your decisions. If you have a question about this topic, please leave me a voicemail message at philipdevine.com/podcastquestion. This is a great way to cross-promote your blog or website because I’ll link to it in the show notes.
Also, if you do leave a question on the power of your decisions, your voicemail will be inserted into the podcast and I’ll answer it as though it was live. It’s a really cool feature and I’d love to answer any questions you have about the power of your decisions.
Well, that’s it for this episode of Live Life Better. I’d be grateful if you’d rate my podcast on iTunes – that helps tremendously with keeping my podcast visible so people who have never heard of it can discover it. If you’ve already done this, thank you so much and I really appreciate it.
Also, again, if you’d like to comment on this episode, please go to philipdevine.com/episode02. Go to the show notes for this episode and scroll down to the comments section. I would love to hear from you; comment, question, whatever.
I’d also love to speak at your church organization. To contact me, go to philipdevine.com/speaking. Again, that’s philipdevine.com/speaking.
Until next time, remember; use every day to live life better.