A Perspective on Buyer’s Remorse

Dec. 15, 2011

John 3:16-17

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

The news media shared this morning that Christmas shopping revenue since Black Friday is higher this year than last year. But there’s a catch. Returns are also higher. Why? Folks who track this kind of thing call it buyer’s remorse. After the purchase is made, the buyer regrets the purchase and returns it. Sometimes the return is made because the purchaser discovered the item could be bought somewhere else cheaper. Or the person decided that they really didn’t need the purchase.

There are times when I buy items and know that at least part of the purchase will be returned. I want to check an item of clothing with what’s in my closet at home. What seemed like a good deal in the store later feels unnecessary or extravagant.

Retailers have used a variety of gimmicks to lure folks into stores this shopping season. The news media agree that overall, these tactics have worked. Yet, the media also confirms that there are a lot of people who have not yet done their Christmas shopping. A huge sprint to the finish line is still expected. With less than 10 shopping days remaining, the gimmicks will continue, the media reported.

I wonder if God ever gets buyer’s remorse. Does God ever look at humanity, ponder the price God paid through God’s Son, Jesus, and think, “Hmm. I overspent when I tried to save humanity. Did I really need to invest as much into redeeming the world as I have? Could have I done it cheaper?”

Let me be clear. By no means am I trying to equate God’s grace to purchasing a flat-screen TV, a laptop or the newest version of a DS. This is comparing apples to oranges. God’s grace isn’t cheap at all because it involved the blood and flesh of an actual person, God’s Son.

Deep down, I believe God looks at humanity and doesn’t experience buyer’s remorse. Instead, God graciously looks at us and says, “What else can I do to help these folks understand just how much I really, really love them?”

A few years ago, the Christian music group, “Go Fish” came out with a song called, “It’s About the Cross.” Here are the words:

It’s not just about the manger, where the baby lay
It’s not all about the angels, who sang for him that day
It’s not just about the shepherds, or the bright and shining star
It’s not all about the wise men, who travelled from afar

It’s about the cross, It’s about my sin
It’s about how Jesus came to be born once, so that we could be born again
It’s about the stone that was rolled away
So that you and I could have real life someday
It’s about the cross; It’s about the cross

It’s not just about the presents underneath the tree
It’s not all about the feeling that the season brings to me

It’s not just about coming home to be with those you love
It’s not all about the beauty in the snow I’m dreaming of

It’s about the cross, It’s about my sin
It’s about how Jesus came to be born once so that we could be born again
It’s about the stone that was rolled away
So that you and I could have real life someday
It’s about the cross; It’s about the cross

The beginning of the story is wonderful and great
But it’s the ending that can save you and that’s why we celebrate

It’s about the cross, It’s about my sin
It’s about how Jesus came to be born once so that we could be born again
It’s about God’s love nailed to a tree
It’s about every drop of blood that flowed from Him when it should have been me

It’s about the stone that was rolled away
So that you and I could have real life someday
So that you and I could have real life someday
It’s about the cross; it’s about the cross.

Someone asked me once if this was a Christmas song or if it is an Easter song. I think it is both. It gets to the important fact that Christmas cannot be separated from Easter, just as Easter cannot be separated from Christmas. To understand the full meaning of either, they must be connected. The full depth and width of the Christmas gift gets lost unless it is held in tension with the cross. At the cross, we see God’s deep love for humanity when Jesus, the Son of God, hangs on a cross and dies for you, for me, for all of humanity. Because Jesus came into the world as an innocent, helpless baby, he can absorb all of our sin and wrong doings. This is grace which Jesus extends to us freely, without any gimmicks.

When we see how expensive Good Friday is, there can be no doubt in our minds. God never experiences buyer’s remorse. God chose the most expensive route possible and has never regretted it. I pray that we chose not to give up on God because God certainly will never give up on us.

Let us pray: How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given. So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of his heaven. No ear may hear his coming, but in this world of sin, where meek souls will receive him, still the dear Christ enters in. Thanks for giving this gift, Almighty God. I pray we will catch a glimpse of just how much you were willing to pay to purchase our lives. Amen.  

Blessings –

Dianne

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