Faithfully Yours - Always a hidden price tag


Neil Strohschein
Neepawa Banner & Press

There’s an old saying that’s a favourite with investment counsellors and financial managers. “If a deal looks too good to be true,” the saying reads, “it probably is.”That’s another way of saying that in this life, there is no such thing as a shortcut to financial security. There’s no pot of gold at the end of a rainbow; no investment that, in return for a $1,000 deposit will guarantee you $10,000 a month for life; no combination of numbers that will get you consecutive lottery wins.

In this life, you get up in the morning, go to work, put in eight hours a day (sometimes more) and go home. Twice a month you pick up a pay cheque. But you rarely take home everything you’ve earned. Governments always take their cut first. What’s left buys the groceries for you and your family, pays the mortgage and utilities on your home, any other bills that may come due in the course of an average month and consumption taxes on most of the above. It’s a vicious circle from which there is no relief—not even when you die.

But there’s always someone who will come along and say: “You don’t have to live this way. Send me some money and I will show you how to take a few dollars and turn it into millions.”

So you take the bait, get the material and try the suggestions it contains. You soon discover that the only one who took a few dollars and turned it into millions was the person who wrote the book that you spent hard earned money to buy. But you learned a valuable lesson in the process.

In this life, there is always a hidden price tag to every good deal. For example, you go to the bank and borrow money to buy a new car. You get the money at a low interest rate with payments you can easily handle. Good deal—right? Not really. The moment you drive that new car off the lot, it can lose up to one-third of its value. You will make regular payments for 12 months (maybe longer) just to get your loan balance to match the depreciated value of that new car—and all you’ve done is drive it off the dealer’s lot.

Jesus understood this principle very well. The historian of the day tells us that at the end of his 40 days of temptation, Jesus was taken to a high mountain where the Devil showed him all the kingdoms of the world. “You can have them all now,” he said to Jesus. “Just fall down and worship me.” The offer was met with a firm “NO!!”

Had Jesus accepted the Devil’s offer, he would have paid a huge price for doing so. He would have transferred his allegiance to someone other than his heavenly Father. He would have lost his identity as God the Son and the sacrifice for sin he came to earth to give would never have been made. God’s whole plan of redemption would have been derailed indefinitely. That’s the hidden price tag Jesus would have had to pay.

But since Jesus said “No,” that price was never paid. Instead, he did the one thing the Devil didn’t want him to do. He went to the cross and died for your sins and mine. And because he did, you and I can receive forgiveness of sin, membership in God’s eternal family and the gift of eternal life—all of which come with no hidden price tag at all.