Counting Coins

Pastor Mark Hopper

Pastor Mark Hopper

By Pastor Mark Hopper

Two of our grandchildren spent a week at our house recently.  They are 9- and 4-years old.  We had a wonderful time with them; they are a delight.

One of the things we did together was count some coins that I had kept in an old peanut butter jar.  I had found many of these coins over the years when I was jogging through the neighborhood where we live.

Some of these coins were in pretty good shape, but others had obviously been run over many times and were hardly recognizable.  Most were pennies, but there were a few nickels, dimes and quarters.

We poured out the jar full of coins on the floor and sorted them into small piles.  Then we counted them in groups of ten.  If we had enough, we put the coins into paper rolls.  There were enough pennies to fill several rolls.  We found enough dimes to make a roll, too.

In addition, we had a few quarters.  It was interesting to see my grandchildren work on their math skills and learn the value of each coin.  Sometimes it doesn’t make a lot of sense.  For example, a dime is smaller than a penny, but it is worth ten times as much!

After we counted all the coins and wrapped them in the paper rolls, we took our money to the bank.  The nice bank teller counted out the rolls and the other miscellaneous coins and gave us 15 one dollar bills!  Wow!

My grandchildren were amazed to see that all of those coins in the peanut butter jar totaled $15.  I don’t know if they had ever had that much money before.  Each of the grandkids got seven one dollar bills and they gave the extra dollar to their favorite uncle who contributed a few coins of his own.

Money can be a useful tool in the world of commerce, but it can also be a source of temptation in our daily lives.  The Bible warns about the danger of loving money in 1 Timothy 6:10. That verse says, “The love of money is the root of all sorts of evil.  Some people who are eager for money have wandered away from the faith and have harmed themselves with many griefs.”

When people “love money” they can destroy their own lives and damage relationships with others.  Many people struggle with gambling.  They hope to “make a fast buck,” but often find themselves in debt and in desperate straits.

Other people struggle with excessive use of credit cards and find themselves with balances that they cannot pay, burdened with high interest rates.  It becomes a vicious cycle that is difficult to break out of.

I enjoyed counting coins with my grandchildren.  I think they enjoyed it, too.  They were impressed that a jar full of coins could be turned into 15 one dollar bills.  There are other lessons that they need to learn in the world of high finance – lessons that all of us need to learn as well.

Pastor Mark Hopper is from the Evangelical Free Church of Diamond Bar, 3255 South Diamond Bar Ave. Sunday services are 9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. For more information, call (909) 594-7604 or visit