How Expensive is Cheap?

In a previous post, I wrote about how the concept of getting things for free has begun to warp our minds. I related it specifically to financially supporting the ministry that spiritually supports you.

But, there are things in our physical life that are connected with this concept also. The idea of free so permeates our thinking, that we continually look for the things that are so listed. It has become a major ploy of marketers to get our attention. Hardly anything is offered without something FREE being attached.

Moving up the ladder of expense, the next step is CHEAP.

Another thing that most of us have learned about CHEAP is that the price reflects the quality. Yet, we continue to buy cheap.

We shop for lowest price. And often find ourselves disappointed at some level with our decision.

This was a common experience when I was in the home repair business, both as a contractor and as a materials salesman. Homeowners would call me for a “free estimate” for a job. They were always looking for the “best price.” More than once, I was called back to repair what was not done by the cheaper guy.

But, we have allowed “cheap”to determine our stewardship–as was mentioned in the previous blog.

Is buying the “cheapest” a proper stewardship? Is it the way to properly use the resouces God has blessed us with? Is “saving money” the equivalent of “good stewardship?”

This ‘cheapness’ has entered into the way we care for our body. And now we find ourselves in trouble.

We’ve bought cheap food. And we got what we paid for. Now we find that the cheap food is also addictive. And we are hooked.

We are eating things that do not make the temple glorious, so we are not glorifying God with our body. (1 Corinthians 6:20–for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. )

We find ourselves overweight, low on energy, battling depression, angry, confused and then ask God for healing. All the while, we cannot quit our habits.

Have you ever bought cheap gas? Ever had bad gas? The car does not run well, does it? So, we buy an additive. Works for awhile; but then something else begins to go wrong. We hear of a new product that will fix the symptoms we have in the car; so we buy the new product. It works for a while.

The same thing happens with our body. Feed it poorly, and it will run poorly. Run out and buy the latest supplement, and you are repaired for awhile. But, then something else begins to show up and we need a new repair (fix).

We have gotten to this place because of our ‘cheap’ mentality.

Examine yourself to see if this might not be true for you. It is for me.

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FREE Aint Cheap!!

American society in general and Christians in particular have destroyed themselves. And we have done it under the guise of “Good Stewardship.”

Stewardship, as believed and practiced by the majority, has as its priority the preservation and conservation of resources. For some reason, ‘wise use’ hardly enters the picture.

In the movie “Pretty Woman,” with Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, she would ask, “Why do you …?” His reply was always, “Because it’s the best.” It didn’t matter whether it was a seat at the opera, or a meal, or a hotel room, or a shirt. The best.

For reasons I won’t delineate here, we have left off having the best.

Notice how your mind immediately went to “I can’t afford the best!” Probably not.

But do you buy the best you can afford?

I remember growing up that many times my dad would complain about something. He would finish by saying, “I wish I could learn to buy quality.” He eventually did, but it was long process. Many children of the Depression Era had the same difficulty.

Do you consistently shop for the “best price?” Is that before, or after you have determined what is the best brand or quality?

However, this is all a side note to the real intent of this post.

Galatians 6:6-8~One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

Many years ago there was a preacher who put out books, booklets, articles, and recordings. They were all listed as “Free as the Lord provides.” His ministry never lacked for funds. And people understood that they were a means of the Lord’s provision. When books were ordered, an offering was usually included. Those who had much gave much; those who had little gave little. The materials were sent whether an offering was included or not.

Over the years, that concept was lost. The preacher died, and his daughter has tried to keep the printed ministry going. However, few requests come with an offering attached.

The situation was summed up in one dear sister’s response. “When I read ‘Free as the Lord provides,’ I thought it meant it was free!” And those books are still ‘free.’ There is no charge. Ever. But they are not printed as often, because the funds simply are not there.

I saw in her statement how far we have regressed over the years; how much we have bought into the Babylonian ways of finance.

Look closely at the verses again from Galatians. They have been used in numerous ways, usually separate from each other.

If we take them together with the idea of sharing financially with those who teach us, we may gain some insight into the weakness that exists within the Body of Christ today.

Stated simply by the common cliche–“You get what you pay for.”

Using this passage with that understanding shows that what we reap is directly proportional to what we sow. Therefore, if a ministry puts its materials out on a free-will-offering basis, then we will only get from their work what we put into it.

Selah.

It may be a powerfully anointed ministry, but we gain little from it.

I contend the reason is that we put little into it.

The ministry may not be hurt, but what we receive is. We put in little, we take out little.

Our bookshelves may be lined; our CD rack may be full; but our minds and hearts are not satisfied.

We have taken our ‘stewardship’ of God’s provision to mean that we should access all the ‘free’ stuff that we can, and then spend the money we have on ourselves. That is not stewardship. It is stupidity in the form of greed.

Proverbs 23:23~Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.

APPLICATION: There are many “free’ sites on the web that help us with our Bible study. If you use any of them, have you sent them a donation?