Free and Cheap

A couple of weeks ago my senior minister made a comment in her sermon about grace being free but not cheap. For those theology students out there, you may recall this is not a new idea and was popularized by Bonhoeffer.

It got me thinking some about the difference in free and cheap, which I open to the larger wiser community.

This is where I have been musing...

Cheap things are cheap on both sides of the relationship.  Things are cheap to make and thus become cheap to sell.  Something that is "cheaply made" is "cheaply sold" and has little value to both the producer and the consumer.  Cheap costs little for both parties.

Free things, however, cost a great deal to the provider and cost nothing to the recipient.  For instance, hospitality is free.  It costs a great deal for those who are providing the meal, the place, the entertainment, the conversation, the drink and on and on.  But it is free for those who receive this hospitality.  Make no mistake, hospitality is not cheap - but it is free.

Likewise, in the church we are called to share all things free.

But make no mistake free is not cheap.

Perhaps this is why the Church is in decline?  We have made what is free cheap and thus it costs little to everyone involved.

How can we as a Church reclaim the idea of a free that costs and discard the idea of cheap?