My Randy Travis nickel

Randy Travis, the country music star, celebrated his becoming a Christ-follower by singing a song about his baptism. He claimed his sins “were washed away and gone, along with a buffalo nickel I forgot to leave at home.” I can relate to the memory of a lost “spiritual” nickel.

When I was a boy in Illmo, Missouri, my mom and dad taught me to tithe. Their method was very effective.

My allowance was fifty cents a week. In those days, fifty cents bought a ticket to a Saturday cowboy movie. There was only one problem. My parents made me put a nickel of my allowance in an envelope to take to church for the offering on Sunday. That left me with only forty-five cents a week to spend. As a result, I had to collect my allowance for two weeks in order to have enough money to take in one Roy Rogers and Dale Evans movie. That one week delay was a heavy burden for a boy to bear.

I now have a better attitude about that forfeited weekly nickel. Randy Travis sang of the “spiritual” nickel he lost, “That seemed like such a small, small price to pay for the blessed peace of mind that came to me.” I now feel that way about my weekly nickel offering. It hurt at the time, but that Sunday ritual of a nickel in a church envelope taught me the value of giving.

Tithing has always been second nature to me. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for using nickels to teach me a lifelong lesson.

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My wife Ruthie also learned as a young child the value of giving. Our marriage was helped and made better by parents who accepted the responsibility of teaching us how to give.

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Parents and grandparents, teach your children and grandchildren well. Help them learn the habit of giving. Eventually they will see in the duty of giving the joy of giving.

Our Missouri Baptist Foundation has resources that can help you convey to your family and friends the lesson of giving. The Foundation wants to help you in any way it can. It is your resource; take advantage of it.  

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