Devotional By Hope Cross / last month Share Tweet Pin Share Living in modern society, I have come to realize that everything, and I mean everything, has a cost. Yes, even those nifty marketing strategies that try to reel us in by using the word FREE in big neon letters, will eventually have a price tag attached somewhere down the line. During a little bit of grocery shopping, I realized a few things about myself. Who would have thought one could have an epiphany meandering down the busy, and might I add, scrambled lanes of Wal-Mart traffic. Well, in the midst of trying not to get ran over by multi-tasking shopping cart drivers, I realized how casually I was willing to spend money on certain items; and how other items I calculated the cost and necessity about a dozen times before I made the decision to place it in the cart. Then, something occurred to me. I approach the process of spending money with a genuine carefulness. Yet, I have had the tendency to approach the act of sinning with such a flippant attitude. This thought hit me harder than a sack of bricks. I have been taking forgiveness for granted. I have been treating Jesus’ forgiveness of my sins just like a spoiled rich kid treats their new toys. “Ah, who cares if this gets broken? Daddy will buy me another one.” While, on the other hand, a poor child might take special care of anything they happen to have, for it has great value in their eyes. Somewhere along the way, I had forgotten the true cost of sin; as well as the true value of forgiveness. Throughout the day, I couldn’t seem to shake these thoughts. I couldn’t seem to get my mind off what Jesus did for me, to give me the ability to be forgiven. Jesus didn’t simply pull out his platinum card and swipe my sins away with credit. He didn’t flash a wad of hundreds, or cut a deal in a back room somewhere. He didn’t pull strings with his leverage and he didn’t hire a nanny to clean up my messes. God robed himself in a body of flesh, knowing all of the things He would suffer as a man. He walked the earth, facing trials and tribulations, with my name on His mind. And, He did it all without sinning. Thankfully, He did not approach sin as casually as I have. Jesus then gave the ultimate sacrifice – His life. He let Himself be tortured and tormented for my sake. He bled, so that His blood, of which was without sin, would have the power to cover my transgressions. Your transgressions. The picture of Jesus, walking the earth, with me on His mind, flashed through my thoughts over and over again. The image of Him hanging on that cross, having done it for me, pierced my heart. All of this, He did for me. All so I could have the liberty of being forgiven, simply by asking. Yet, I have been treating the wonderful blessing of forgiveness as though it were some swipe of daddy’s credit card. Contrary to popular belief, forgiveness is not free. It only seems to be, because Jesus has already taken care of the tab for us. His forgiveness not only covers my sins. It brings a refreshing, a cleanliness, within me that is not there otherwise. It allows me to experience true joy, without being plagued by a guilty conscience. It brings a peace to my life, far beyond my own measly understand. His forgiveness does so much more than I could ever explain, and better yet, even know. I want to remember that before I go and try to play cash or credit with sin. I don’t want to approach sin with a casual attitude. Instead, I want to keep fresh in my mind how invaluable the gift of forgiveness really is.