Its school holidays and both of my kids have been given some money by their grandparents to spend. I've found it amusing watching how my two handle money and the whole idea of saving. My oldest seems to understand how money works. We have a system where if they choose to save their money in the bank we will also add to the total helping them on their way to their saving goal. My oldest gets this and will put some of his money away. It seems to burn a hole in his pocket, though, and it doesn't take him long to find something he would like to buy. Similarly, this money from his grandparents needed to be spent as soon as possible. He didn't spend it all on himself, he bought each member of the family a gift. Even his sister!!
My youngest is very different with money. Although I have tried numerous times to explain the merits of saving in the bank (especially with our little bonus system), she still insists on saving it in her purse. I asked her why this was important to her and she explained that when it is in her purse she can look at it and count it whenever she wants. It is important to have it close to hand. She is not quick to spend, but can be very generous when she chooses.
My kids were on camp last weekend and were learning about 'Treasure'. They have both brought their bibles to me in the last few days to show me the passage from Matthew 13 about hidden treasure. I wonder if how we are with money has any relevance to how we are with the treasure that God offers? Do we hide the treasure away in hope that it will grow or multiply? Do we keep it close by in order to access it at a moment's notice? Do we feel a need to give it away either in generosity or in fear of what will happen if we hold on to it?
I don't think it is any accident that my pet name for my children is 'Treasure'. They are coming to the age now where it is a difficult balance between protecting them and allowing them to become independent. Is this how it is with God's treasure in our lives? We need to find a balance between protecting it and sharing it with others in our lives. Like learning how to be good with our money, sometimes understanding the presence of God in our life can take a life time.