When it comes to money, kids might surprise you with their ingenuity. Several kids in Bobby’s neighborhood used to tease him because he was too young to understand the value of coins. Each day, they presented Bobby with a dime and a nickel. Without fail, he always took the larger coin.

One day, a store manager who had observed the boys talked with Bobby about how to count change. He took out a nickel and dime and said, “Did you know that this small coin is worth twice as much as this large coin?”

Bobby nodded his head in agreement.

“But son, if you knew this, then why do you always take the bigger coin from the other boys?”

“Well, Mister, if I take the dime, they’ll stop offering me their money. I’ve already made $20 off them.”

Bobby was obviously a lot smarter than he looked. Yet when kids compare a lucrative career to full-time Christian service, it is sometimes hard for them to discern which occupation is the nickel and which is the dime. At first glance, it appears Christian service is the nickel, for it offers the lowest monetary return. The secular career seems to be the most obvious choice, for it offers the greatest tangible benefits. However, the value of each occupation must be considered beneath the surface.

Christian service may not provide many corporate benefits such as complete insurance, 401(k) profit sharing, a retirement pension, or paid vacations; but it promises eternal rewards in Heaven and the satisfaction of serving Christ. These benefits last far longer than any temporal benefits. What we must determine is, which is the greater value in the long run?

Each of us must arrive at this conclusion independently, but there are ways we can influence others to make the best choice. Which occupations do you consider of greater value as a parent, teacher, friend, or mentor? What values are you promoting in your own life? These factors will invariably shape the values of those who follow you.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.