By Greg Johnson
It’s Saturday morning—allowance day!
For three dollars a week, all you have to do is take out the garbage, empty the dishwasher, fold a few clothes, sweep the garage, do a little yard work and keep your room clean. Not a bad deal considering... considering that Mom and Dad could choose to not give you anything. We could decide that being part of the family means you do certain things whether you get paid or not. But we don’t. We cough it up every week, just like clockwork.
This particular Saturday you’re lying around watching TV when the phone rings. It’s your best friend, Cody. He asks you if you want to go see a movie with him and his family today. You check with your Mom and she says that would be fine.
“She says yes,” you tell Cody. “What time will you be by to pick me up?”
“Noon,” he says. “See you then.”
You race to your room to check the cash supply. You can find only a dollar in change. Gotta quit buying that candy after school, you think.
Hey! It’s Saturday. That means Dad owes you three dollars!
But when you find him, he says he’d love to give you the money but you haven’t done your chores yet. Checking the clock, you see that it’s 11:15. You’ve only got forty-five minutes to do all of your chores! Yikes! Why did I lie around so much this morning!
You’re nearly certain that you can’t get your chores done in that amount of time, so you plead your case with Dad.
“I promise that as soon as I get home from the movie, I’ll get everything done. I’ll even do some extra stuff for free.”
“I know that seems like a good offer in your mind,” he says, “but that’s not the deal. We agreed that you would do your chores, then I’d give you the money.
“It’s been like pulling teeth to get you to do them on time for the last three months. How do I know you’ll actually do them? Your little brother has even tried to pick up the slack for you by filling in.
“I’m sorry, but the only choice I have is to stick to my guns. You’ve got to learn how to be responsible, so you may as well learn now. If you have them done, you’ll get your three dollars. Not before. Not this time.”
You hang your head as you walk away without saying a word.
Questions to Think On
• Would you get busy on your chores, or would you just think they couldn’t get done, so why hurry?
• By showing you’re responsible in the little things, you show us we can trust you with other—often bigger—things to do. Is this a fair way to determine if you’re ready to be trusted with more adult-type activities?
• How would you react if you were twenty minutes away from finishing your chores and your friends came by to pick you up, but Dad still wouldn’t budge on the money, so you had to tell them you couldn’t go?
• Mom and Dad: Talk about what you believe about the importance of your child learning responsibility.
What Does God Have to Say?
The plan of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. Proverbs 21:5
The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.