A hole appeared in Jackson’s brand new polo after the first wearing.

In a climate full of sales, bargains, deals, BOGO, coupons, generics and gimmicks, there comes a limit to a dollar saved being a dollar earned.

Case in point: generic Rice Krispies cereal really does taste like cardboard pieces. And the seam of a bonus-priced, back-to-school polo can rip right open in the first wearing, as we discovered with Jackson’s new shirt that he was so excited to wear to kindergarten.

In many cases, you get what you pay for.

Often we get sucked into glitzy promotions, promises and sales competition in the world of religious activity, too. We go into churches, conferences and service projects really looking for what we can get out of it, what offers us the most kickback at the greatest convenience. We window shop for the best programs at the cheapest level of personal investment and sacrifice. And then, at the first rip in the seam, we discard the effort and look for new. We reap what we sow.

Even those in healthy churches, who consistently and faithfully serve God in ministry, can shortchange our relationship with Jesus. We expect all the rewards of a life of faith without investing real time and effort in daily, personal Bible study and prayer. We want to see people’s lives be transformed by God’s love, but prefer someone else to actually do the Great Commission (see this distressing recent survey).

We are not savoring the greatest bargain of all time: Jesus’ life exchanged for our own. Jesus paid for all my sins, each mistake and every wrong turn. Too often, I miss reveling in the greatest deal I was ever offered – His beautiful, white garments of purity in exchange for my filthy, torn rags.

For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

– 2 Corinthians 5:21

In this case, I got what He paid for.

That’s a deal worth telling everyone about!

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