Last May, Time magazine did an article on “How ‘Extreme Couponing’ is ruining coupons.” It was an interesting article, showing the viciousness of coupon users as they would cut off expiration dates and try to use coupons for items that didn’t match the coupon and when caught at the register; the coupon users would throw a fit until they would get their way. This is the dark side of couponing.
On the bright side of couponing, Dr. Thomas J. Stanley, in his book, The Millionaire Mind did extensive research on the ultra rich and found that many millionaires clip coupons. There is value in clipping coupons. I am not against using coupons; my family uses them all the time.
The idea of coupons is for continuing loyalty to the current customers and of course trying to drive more sales by capturing new customers as well. For a manufacturer to offer a coupon is costly. Coupons must be printed, extra products must be made and/or purchased, usually an extensive advertising program is done simultaneously, and the cost of collecting the used coupons and dispersing monies to the appropriate stores that allowed those coupons must be done.
This goes back to the dark side of couponing. Stores must wait for their monies and manufacturers that offered the coupon will have to “redeem” or “buy back” the coupon without any guarantee of actually picking up a loyal customer. As you can see this is very costly.
Paul uses this idea of redeeming coupons in Galatians Four:
4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
At the fullness of time, God sent His Son to redeem us from the bondage of the law in which we were under. This was costly to God the Father. It cost him the death of His son on the cross.
Hebrews 9:22 22 And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross made it possible for sinful mankind to be in a right relationship with a holy God. We were released or given freedom from the bondage of the law in order that we might receive or obtain the adoption as sons.
The interesting part about coupons is that when a manufacture ‘redeems” them; the coupon is then taken out of the market never to be used in that same manner again. Think about it. You have never opened a Sunday newspaper and had clipped and used coupons fall into your lap. The same idea when God redeems you. You are set free. You are no longer a slave to the law or slave to sin (Rom 6). You are no longer a slave but are now a son or daughter.
What a powerful picture of what Christ has done and the eternal security that we have.
Galatians 4:7 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.