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Behavior Altering Price

May 30, 2011

I’m doing things I’ve never done before. Well, at least I am thinking more about them than I usually do. I don’t go to the store unless it is urgent, I can go to two stores in the same neighborhood, or I can buy two or three items I need. I don’t start the car until I have my seat belt fastened. I turn my car off in the drive-in line. I walk to work! You may have your favorite way to use less gas. 

Why this unusual behavior? You know – the price of gas. By global standards, gas is still cheap in the US, but compared to historical prices, we are daily deluged with reports of how much a gallon of gas costs – up a penny from yesterday, 93 cents more than this time a year ago, record prices… 

As gas becomes more expensive, it is treated as more precious. At a mere three dollars a gallon, we think nothing of driving a little extra or leaving the car idling. Gas becomes an ordinary and plentiful commodity. It becomes a non-factor in our plans. 

Rising prices generate theories of the reason for the spike – war, cold weather, Alaska pipeline repair, or Gulf oil spill. Words like monopoly, conspiracy, and gouging fill the news. We all seem to search for someone to blame. 

What about grace? Do we view grace as costly and precious or abundant and cheap? When we receive grace, do we stand with awe and gratitude or do we presume upon its abundance? Do we view it as valuable enough to let it actually alter our thoughts and behavior? 

Next time you think about the high price of gas, let it be a reminder of the high price Jesus paid … and he had no one to blame but us.

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