A few months ago I was out shopping for a new dress for an upcoming event and I stopped at the Lancome counter to check their mascara several friends had recommended. Once I decided I wanted to buy some the sales clerk suggested I come back the next week when they’ll be having a “Gift With Purchase” event. “Good idea”, I thought. I just got a coupon with my dress purchase so I could come back and use the coupon to get the mascara and get a free gift”.
Now, I don’t know what your experience has been with a “Gift With Purchase” event but I used to sell Mary Kay cosmetics and when they had a “Gift With Purchase” event it was a free gift. Free…it was free.
So, I go online to the store website and found an advertisement for the “Gift With Purchase” event and noticed that it said, “10-pc Mother’s Day Set…only $44.50 with Lancome purchase.” So, I’m thinking…”Wait a minute…that’s not a gift”. Is that a gift to you? That’s not a gift to me…that’s a purchase. I’m purchasing my item I need and then spending another $44.50 to get more stuff. That’s not a gift with purchase…that’s a discount with purchase.
Okay, so here’s Webster’s definition of the word “gift”…something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; a present.
Free Gift? Isn’t that a little redundant?
So is this false advertising or what? After I spoke with a couple of friends who work in retail they indicated in order for it to be “free” it will say “Free Gift With Purchase”. Free Gift? Isn’t that a little redundant? I mean that’s kind of like saying “Hot Fire” or “Cold Ice”.
I actually fell for that one. Don’t you hate getting emails or snail mail stating you’ve won a prize and all you have to do to get it is pay $39 for shipping. Are you kidding me? If I have to pay for shipping it’s not a prize. The sad truth is that people actually fall for this stuff…otherwise they wouldn’t keep doing it. I just hate that feeling that I’ve been taken…I feel stupid and foolish.
Thankfully, this is not the case with our salvation. The Old Testament tells us that man was dead to God when he sinned. Genesis 2:17 says, “but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” So Adam and Eve knew that disobeying God was a sin and would bring them death. The New Testament tells us that God made a way for us to re-establish our connection with Him…to have a relationship with Him. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Jesus paid the price for our sin…our gift of salvation.
So here’s that redundant term again…free gift. Paul wanted the church in Rome to understand they didn’t have to do anything to deserve or purchase this gift…it was a “free gift”. I imagine when they heard Paul speak of salvation through Jesus they probably were suspicious, like…”What’s the catch?” I mean here’s a generation of Jews who’ve had laws in place for years instructing them on what they have to do to be cleansed of sin…and there were a lot of rules. Paul used the term “free gift” so they would understand there is no catch and this was not false advertising. The purchase was made by Jesus. Jesus paid the price for our sin…our gift of salvation. He purchased us…he bought our freedom with his blood. His body and His blood was payment. We don’t have to do a thing. The only thing required of us is that we receive it. There is no trick…there is no catch…it’s just that simple. How’s that for a “free gift”?
Now, go and share this free gift with others.