Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Breaking the Bank - A Lesson Learned!

Each man should give what he has decided in his he
art to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7

This passage came to mind on Sunday during church. Cameron has started to enjoy collecting and receiving coins and money that he can put into his piggy bank. If by chance we leave change sitting out on the table or within his reach he is usually grabbing it and asking to put it in his piggy bank. I have to admit that I like that he wants to save it. I want our kids to grow up with good money habits and understanding the benefits of saving money (I want them to learn this better than me as I am not always so good at it!).

Before church on Sunday, Cameron found a nice little stack of quarters sitting on the kitchen table. Immediately he wanted to put it in his piggy bank. We talked to him about putting some in his piggy bank and giving some to Jesus during church. He agreed and put some into the piggy bank and some into his pocket to put in the basket at church. At the point that the offering basket was being passed during church, Cameron went into a shutdown mode. Matt held the offering basket in front of him for a good minute before we got embarrassed enough to pass it on to the usher. Matt even whispered "God wants a cheerful giver!" and so his money stayed in his pocket. We both noted this teachable moment and talked to Cameron about it after church. By the time we got home, Cameron was wishing to go back to church to put his money in the basket. Instead, we started Cameron's offering cup for next week at church. These moment to teach our kids are so precious and so important. I want it to be Cameron's choice to choose to give back to God and not us pushing him to do it or want to.

Later that day, the kids and I were upstairs putting clothes away. I heard a bit of a scurry coming from Cameron's room where he and Emmy were playing. All of a sudden I saw Emmy running across the hallway...carrying Cameron's piggy bank. In the next instant the piggy bank was shattered and coins were scattered everywhere. We all felt awful as Cameron sobbed.

I couldn't help but think there was a lesson in all of it for all of us. As much as we want to store up and save things for ourselves - even our pennies, nickles and dimes - we have to caution ourselves to not become too greedy and want to keep it all for ourselves. As important it is to teach about saving money, it is just as important to teach about sharing our wealth and gifts with God and others. Funny how simple little things can turn into big lessons!

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