Stuck in the Weeds (Part 1)

Stuck in the Weeds (Part 1)

by C.C. Owens

“Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?”

~Matthew 20:15 (NLT)

Today’s money story is based the Parable of the Workers found in Matthew 20:1-16.

Jacob pedaled quickly down the street of old houses. Mrs. Denman was paying him five dollars per flowerbed to clear weeds, and she had a lot of flowerbeds. When her house came into view, Mrs. Denman was already sitting on the front porch.

“My, you’re moving fast,” she called to him.

Jacob dropped his bike on the sidewalk and tried to catch his breath. “Wanted … to get … a lot done.”

“Glad to hear it. Well, you know what to do. The tools are in the shed, and there’s a water pitcher on the porch, if you need some.”

Jacob nodded but went right to work. He had about two hours before he had to be home for dinner. If he worked fast, he might finish three beds today.

About an hour later, Jacob noticed a boy talking to Mrs. Denman. She pointed at the yard. Then, the boy jogged over and started digging in a flowerbed.

When the sun started to dip, Mrs. Denman came to see their progress. “You boys have done a lot today, but I should probably pay you and let you go home.” She turned to the other boy first. “Bobby, you finished one bed today. Are you coming back tomorrow?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Then here’s fifteen dollars.”

Bobby’s eye got big. “But I only did one bed.”

“You’re coming back tomorrow, right?”

“Yes, ma’am!”

“Then head on home.”

Jacob barely noticed Bobby run into the house across the cul-de-sac. If Bobby got fifteen dollars for doing one bed, how much more would he get for doing three?

“Jacob, are you coming back tomorrow?”

“Yes, Mrs. Denman.”

“Good, here’s your fifteen dollars.”

Just fifteen. Jacob couldn’t believe it. “But-”

“Yes, Jacob?”

“Did I do something wrong?”

“No, Jacob, why would you think that?”

“You gave that other boy the same as me, and he didn’t do nearly as much.”

Mrs. Denman cocked her head to one side and studied him a moment. “Jacob, I wanted to be generous to Bobby. Don’t we all get to choose how we share our money?”

Jacob didn’t know what to say to that, so he took his bike and left.

All that night and the next day during school, he thought about Bobby getting fifteen dollars. It just wasn’t right, and it really made him mad. Finally, Jacob decided today would be different because he was going to…


Next month we’ll have the end of this story, but in the meantime-

What do you think Jacob is going to do?

How would you respond if you were working for Mrs. Denman? Would you go back? Would you try something different?




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