After the Christmas rush comes another rush: the New Year sales. Doorbusters
as they are often called. I don’t go to them but I see hundreds of
people on the TV news literally breaking down doors and almost trampling
others underfoot to get at bargains inside some department store.
Once in there, the frenzy is on in earnest. People push and shove and fight
and struggle to snatch up clothing, grab household goods and line up to pay
for them. Some items are torn or damaged in the fray. Some people are even
hurt. Clearly, people love bargains.
A way of life
Shopping for the best
price is a way of life among us. Who doesn’t check out supermarket
prices, comparing stores and comparing products? Getting the most we can for
our dollar seems the sensible thing to do.
How many of us keep our eyes open for the cheapest petrol, even preferring the
service station that has a price a fraction of a cent lower than its
Getting a bargain, or a series of them, makes us feel good. We feel like
winners. No-one has taken us for a ride; we have used our heads and come out
on top. (The seller may still have made a good profit, however, so he feels
While getting our
detergent at a good price is great, so often we lose badly elsewhere —
most of the time just through neglect.
What counts most? It is life’s values, its relationships, things of
Many of us give scant attention to these. No wonder there are so many sad
hearts and sad homes all around us. We have preferred the things that
don’t last and in the end don’t count for much. What a poor
bargain we have struck!
One of the most difficult questions ever asked goes like this: Will a person
gain anything if he wins the whole world but is himself lost?
Jesus asked that question and He also made it clear that ordinary, everyday
people are lost. Lost to God; lost forever because of our sin and neglect of
Even to get possession of the whole world (which is utterly impossible of
course) and to remain lost is to have an appallingly bad bargain.
The best of bargains
bargain of all concerns an exchange. If you like, a swap. We give our great
load of sin to God; He gives us His own rightness and forgiveness. No payment
is demanded. The payment has already been made.
It was like this: God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us (when Jesus
died on the cross), so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God
(2 Corinthians chapter 5, verse 21). Jesus took our sin and paid the price it
demanded. Now, forgiveness and freedom can come to us as a gift.
Having Christ means having everything. That is a bargain.