Free Lunch

by Penrod

Free Lunch ~ “There is no free lunch.”

What an utterly untrue assertion! I have had many free lunches and I am confident you have, too.

Why do people say there is no free lunch with such conviction? Perhaps you say it from time-to-time yourself. Of this moral and intellectual failing, I have been free as long as I can remember.

You say, “I only mean that there is always a cost involved—an obligation placed on the receiver of the lunch, some sort of quid pro quo.” Sometimes there is, but that is not the same as showing that free lunches do not exist.

“Well,” you say, “I meant it, as do others, in a broader sense—as a dynamic in human life, in the universe itself that there is always an exchange. In society in particular there is something that must be paid.”

I ask, “Are you a Christian? Are you a follower of Jesus? Do you remember his free lunches? Ever heard of creation or grace?”

Christians don’t believe that “nothing comes for free.” Neither do Jews, Muslims, or Buddhists to mention some others. The Bible is a testimony to grace and bounty freely given and an invitation to be a giver yourself.

Think of this. Someone treats you to lunch—a friend, let’s say, not an insurance salesman who hopes the free lunch will engender a signed application. In such cases, as a rule, both parties are aware that there is a reason involved beyond treating a fellow human being to lunch. Even here, it may turn out to be free for you.

But back to the friend, back to lunching for the fun of it (or the need of it). Not only is the assertion that there is no free lunch false with respect to the cost, it is an offense against the giver. It is a lack of respect for the motive of the treater. It is a lack of graciousness on my part. This is unpleasant especially in relation to “freely have you received, freely give.”

Pray for a thankful heart for all past and future free lunches.

Penrod says that, in thinking about him, one should think first of Booth Tarkington's Penrod, the boy writer, and then of the mighty pen of Martin Luther with its power like unto the rod of Aaron.

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