Picking Up Pennies

Today I saw a penny on the sidewalk.

I picked it up. I teach my children to do the same.

Do you?

A penny isn’t worth much, I know. But that is why picking up pennies is so important – to me, at least. Doing so reminds me of a very important life principle. Can you guess what it is?

He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? (Luke 16:10-11)

According to Jesus, the way I handle the little things of life, the things with the smallest value, reveals something important about my heart. If I ignore or mishandle opportunities to manage resources that appear obscure, insignificant and inconsequential in this life, waiting for the big moments to break my way, then I misunderstand the way life works.

God uses little things to prepare us for big things. Sometimes the big things happen later in this life, but not always. The big things, or the “true riches,” that lie ahead have more to do with the future, eternal kingdom of God than the world we’re living in right now.

So that’s why I pick up pennies (and nickels, and dimes, and quarters, and dollars – on rare occasions). But is that all I do with pennies? Just pocket them? No, I use them in strategic ways.

  • I save them at home.
  • As they accumulate, I use them to pay my children for miscellaneous things. Sometimes they rub my feet at the end of a long day. The better and longer they rub, the more pennies I give them. Sometimes they color, draw and design pictures or crafts and set up a store in the dining room. Then I go “shopping,” review their work and purchase things from them, using my pennies.
  • Then I teach my children to save. Not only do they also pick up pennies as I do, but they earn them as I’ve explained. Sometimes we take a trip to the bank together. Each of my children stands in line, speaks to the teller and make their deposits individually.

By picking up pennies, I am teaching my children to work, to save and to give conscientious attention to the little things in life. That’s why I pick up pennies. Do you?

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