Thursday, November 19, 2009

Free Stuff...is it good though?

“I’ve been sleeping with my best friend for 5 years and my husband doesn’t know…”

That was one of many shocking confessions made on the morning radio show I normally listen to on my way into work this morning. The contest was called Confess Your Mess and it was for the grand prize of, drum roll please, Twilight: New Moon movie tickets. There is no confetti, no horns, or flashing lights after that surprise. What a let down right? A huge city wide morning show holds a contest to confess stuff on air that could potentially end a relationship or even worse, a marriage, just to win free tickets to a freakin’ movie about vampire love drama. I don’t understand the obsession with Twilight myself, but I’m pretty sure winning free movie tickets is not worth confessing horrible things on air for.

Oprah made a big deal out of the grilled chicken at KFC when it was first released and gave away free meals with a coupon you could print off line. My friend Billy and I printed them off and went to the closest KFC. We were in line for an hour. I had never seen this many people crowded into such a small space before in my life, which I’m sure was a fire code violation. They had a police officer directing traffic because it was so chaotic. All over some free chicken (although it was tasty and free is always nice! Ridiculous!

At any given night in Conseco Field house at a Pacers game at the receiving end of a highly pressurized air gun you will find an enthusiastic fan dancing, screaming at the top of their lungs, and waving their arms around like they were having a grand mal seizure hoping to get a free t-shirt shot at them.

Do you see the trend? Don’t you get the feeling that people are crazy about free stuff? This is the point where you make the assumption of where I am taking this right? If you think I am going to go to the typical monologue of salvation being free and we should be excited to receive it, sorry you loose.

If those crazy air guns that Boomer spits t-shirts out of shot out angry spider monkeys I am sure the excitement would subside quickly. If Oprah gave away free meal coupons for a condemned and unsanitary restaurant I am sure the lines would not have been so long. If the prize for the Confess Your Mess contest was sending out a chain gang member to beat you for your ridiculous confession then I’m sure the radio station would not be flooded by phone calls. People get excited about receiving free things that are cool or exciting for them. People want desirable things to be given to them for free.

I guess my question is why don’t people get excited to receive the Gospel? I am not convinced it is solely because the world is full of wickedness and evil and hates God. I think people like good news, people like free things. Why is it that the easiest way to direct traffic on a busy Saturday night is to put a street preacher in the area you don’t want people?

Isn’t the Gospel good news? Is it something burdensome and heavy? Is it ugly, smell bad, or oppress? Isn’t it something that people should be jumping for? What has happened that it is some kind of deterrent now? The message hasn’t changed has it? If it isn’t the message changing then it must be poor representation, right?

I pray that we can all look in the mirror and ask ourselves honestly how the rest of the world sees the gift we have and if they would want it. It’s all about the gift being good….do we make it seem good?

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