downshifting penny jug


The Penny Jug:
Getting Wise to Satan's Tricks
by Nancy Twigg

When my husband was a small child, his grandfather had a favorite prank he loved to pull. When Michael and his family went to visit, Grandpa Twigg always brought out his penny jug. This jug was really more like an urn, with an opening at the top just big enough for a small hand to reach inside. Grandpa Twigg kept his jug full of pennies. The rule was that the grandkids could stick their hands into the clay jar and keep as much money as they could grab in a single handful. 

Michael and his brother, without exception, were always electrified with excitement -- cash is so much more thrilling than candy or trinkets! However, their excitement quickly turned to alarm after they reached in, grabbed a handful of pennies, and then tried to pull their bulging hands back through the narrow neck of the vessel. Try as they might, they couldn't get their hands out of the jar unless they released their treasure.

Our enemy, the Devil, has a similar trick he likes to play, except we adults don't catch on as quickly as the children caught on to Grandpa Twigg's prank. Inside our adversary's jar are all kinds of things of this world: pride, chronic busyness, materialism, self-importance, addictions, vanity, the love of pleasure, the love of comfort, self-reliance instead of God-reliance -- the list could go on and on. Once we reach into his jar and grab hold of these enticements, Satan has us just where he wants us. We are caught in his trap unless we willingly let go of the things in our grasp. 

Think about this object lesson for a moment. Is your hand stuck in the enemy's penny jar? Are there things you are holding onto that are keeping you from being free? Ask God to show you what things you need to let go of to fully experience the freedom for which Christ set you free.

BYLINE: Nancy Twigg is a speaker and author who loves inspiring overstressed, overloaded women to live simply, meaningfully and purposefully. This article is similar to what you'll find in her new book, A Month of Mites: 31 Devotionals on Simple Christian Living ( Contact Nancy via email at

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downshifting penny jug

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downshifting penny jug