“Hear us, my lord (Abraham): You are a mighty price among us; bury your dead in the choicest of our burial places. None of us will withhold from you his burial place, that you may bury your dead.” Then Abraham stood up and bowed himself to the people of the land, the sons of Heth. And he spoke with them, saying, “…give [me the burial cave] at the full price, as a property for a burial place among you.” – Gensis 23:6-16
Everyone likes to get a good deal; whether someone is buying a car, or buying a house, or whatever. Because it’s ‘their money,’ they want to stretch it as far as possible and get the best they can for the least they can. And while there may be nothing wrong with stretching the money out, we need to be careful to think about the whole picture here.
Remember that when you are buying something from someone, you are paying them for work and materials. When you are paying for something, you are helping to pay for the cost of operations, and for the salaries of the workers, so they can provide for their families. You are helping to pay the electric bill and the water bill, etc.
I remember a story I read when I worked at the funeral home, that a news reporter was completely shocked when he found out that the funeral home sold the caskets for more than they bought them for. I guess this reporter thinks that funeral workers should do all their work for free… No, they have to pay the light bill, water bill, salaries, etc. just like anyone else!
The point is, that when you try to weasel the price of something down, and down, and down, you are taking away from the seller. You are becoming a customer that he would rather not serve, and are developing the reputation of being ‘cheap.’
Now, this doesn’t mean that you blindly pay an outrageous amount of money for whatever you buy, and it also doesn’t mean that you should never take a gift, or a discount when someone offers it to you, but it does mean that you should consider the other person in the deal and think about what you would want if you were in his shoes. Remember the golden rule?
The bible says we should think about the needs and wants of others.
Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. – Phil 2:4
All of your business transactions should be done with this in mind:
Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Mt 7:12
That means that if you were a car salesman and would want a good commission off of a sale, then you should be willing to pay a salesman a little extra so he could get a good commission. That means if you were a waiter and would want good tips, then you should leave good tips when you go out to eat. ect, ect, ect.
In the title passage, Abraham was offered a plot of land for free. The probable reason that it was offered for free was because the other party felt obligated to offer it for free. But Abraham wasn’t cheap. He was going to pay full price.
I want to be able to pay full price for everything I buy, because I want to bless other people. I want to leave big tips, because I’ve been a waiter and know what it is like to get cheap tips. I also know how waiters feel about christians who leave small or no tips……
So try to be mindful of others in all that you do. God will bless you for it.