Have you heard of Aesop’s fable about the grasshopper and the ant? The grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart’s content one summer day when an ant passed by.
It was carrying an ear of corn bigger than its size and it was on its way back to the nest. The grasshopper invited the ant to chat with him instead of working but the ant refused because it was saving up food for the winter. When winter came, the grasshopper found itself dying of hunger, while the ants were distributing corn from what they had collected in the summer.
A simple story with a profound lesson
It is a very simple story but its lesson is very profound.
Proverbs 6:6-8 tells exactly the same lesson:
Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways and be wise.
Without having any chief, officer, or ruler,
she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.
Like the ants, we are taught in the Bible to save money and be good stewards of our resources.
Why is it necessary for us to save money?
Just like the story of the ant and the grasshopper, winter seasons come into our lives when resources are not readily available. We never know what will happen tomorrow. Emergencies like sickness and calamity happen unknowingly and we need to be ready financially when they strike.
Aside from this, when we have more than enough money in our storehouse, God can use us to be a blessing to those who are in need. We are able to give because we have.
Like the grasshopper, there are people who spend their days idly and waste money without a care in the world, as if there is no tomorrow. The problem comes when we spend money beyond our means; when we invest on things we want more than what we need; when we go overboard on our budget. This may lead to lack and debt.
The latest gadgets, the hottest trend in fashion, airline seat discounts to exotic holiday getaways – there are so many beautiful things that lure us everyday to spend our money on. There’s nothing wrong with rewarding ourselves with things we want every now and then, especially when we work hard for it. In fact, God wants to bless us with good things, including material things. But one thing we must learn to do, with the many temptations around us is to save.
God is a God of abundance and generosity. He wants to bless us to overflowing; to live our lives to the full. But along with this, He wants us to become excellent stewards of His blessings, especially of our finances. Everything we have belongs to Him. This includes even the money we earn. We are merely stewards. Stewards are not owners but managers.
May we gain wisdom and insight from the ant, small as it may seem. So when winter comes, we will not find ourselves like the grasshopper, dying of hunger.
The Ant and the Grasshopper story for kids
Article supplied with thanks to Wealth with Purpose. Alex Cook is a licensed financial planner and the founder of Wealth with Purpose a Stewardship Ministry that helps Christians handle their money God’s way.