Monday, September 13, 2010

Of grace and coupons

In our quest to get our finances under control, I've become an even more avid coupon clipper than I normally am. I love coupons. Love them. In fact, last night, I discovered that you can log in to the Kroger website and have coupons loaded directly to your Plus Card, no need for paper copies. Isn't that groovy?

Most of my deep thoughts occur while I'm drying my hair in the mornings. Now, my hair is pretty short, so that doesn't leave a lot of time for deep thinking, so sometimes my ponderings don't get fully worked out. Also, it's really early (i.e. before coffee) when I'm doing this thinking, so sometimes it doesn't always make sense later. This morning, I was reflecting on the awesomeness that is the whole Kroger card coupon phenomenon, and it occurred to me that God's grace is kind of like coupons, but a whole lot better.

Coupons are awesome. You get to save money on things you were planning to buy anyway. However, they can be kind of tricky to use. You have to pay close attention. They expire, for one thing, so you have to use them while they are still good. They aren't universal, either. If you like Kraft dressing, but have a coupon for Hidden Valley Ranch, you have to decide if it is worth it to save money on a product you don't prefer. Some people don't even think they are worth the effort and time you spend in clipping, organizing, and planning for their use. Amazingly, some people don't even use coupons! Those folks think it makes you look cheap to use them. Mind blowing, I know.

I know by now, you are thinking, "Where is she going with this? It doesn't seem at all that coupons are anything like grace!" Bear with me!

If used correctly, coupons are essentially free money. You didn't have to do any work to earn that $1.00 taken off your grocery bill just for submitting a little slip of paper. That's one way coupons are like grace. It's free! You don't have to do anything to earn it. You just have to claim it!

Now, I also said I thought about how much better grace is than a coupon. For example, God's grace never expires. You never have to take a lesser kind of grace just because that's all that is offered. God's grace isn't limited to certain "brands" of sin because it is good for all of them!

Here is one final thought on this topic. I said there were some people who felt like coupons weren't worth their time, or they didn't want to use them because they didn't want to appear cheap. Hmm...can't you think of some people that don't really have time for God? They don't need Him or his grace because they like to think their works are sufficient to balance out their sins. Or, they don't want to appear weak by claiming redemption through God's grace.

Maybe that analogy worked for you, and maybe it didn't. The bottom line is this. If you were going through the checkout line at the grocery store and found that the person in front of you had already paid your bill, would you say, "No thanks, I really don't need your generosity." I think not!!! God is offering you a huge voucher to cover all of your sins. It is free of charge, and the value is immeasurable. All you have to do is claim it!

Want to know more? Read Romans 3:22-26.

2 comments:

Jennifer Blanton said...

Elly, I love reading your blogs. This one is amazing. I use coupons too and didn't know about Krogers web site. Thanks so much and I totally agree with everything you say!!!!!

Elly Gilbert said...

Thanks Jennifer! I appreciate that you are reading!!!