For those of us who are believers in Jesus, we are aware of the paradox of the concept of “free.” The salvation we have been given by Jesus is the most valuable thing in the universe, but it was His free gift to us. Conversely, to the person who chooses to not believe, or at the least has not chosen so far, it is worthless. It our culture where there are so many offering things, those things that are offered free in this world are easily treated as worthless, be it the tidal wave of blogs of which this is one more drop of, or the weekly wad of advertising that I get in my mailbox each Wednesday. Part of the reason that beer advertising is the most humorous is that, to stand out from all the free offerings, more money and talent is spent to make it special. Way too often, the message of Jesus in this culture is ignored not just because it is free, but if sampled is less than special in the eyes of the beholder. Fortunately, in my opinion (and I cannot prove this to be anything higher than my opinion), most who have not overtly examined the truth of Jesus and have gone another direction are going another way because they are either deceived or self-deceived.
We live in a day where, in the world, free is giving one thing to sell another. In the 1800’s, King Gillette gave away razors to sell blades, and that eventually built a large company. Today, internet companies give storage space, blog accounts, games, etc. so they can sell advertising for you to see. Google gives 411 service so as to hear a variety of dialects and accents in words to improve their voice recognition technology, which is more valuable to them than any price they could charge for the service, assuredly to the irritation of competitors or non-competitors attempting to sell the same service.
The information in the last paragraph comes from Chris Anderson, “Free—Why $0.00 is the Future of Business,” Wired, March, 2008.