Teaching How to Find Value

We were on a "grocery run" and had the shopper's advantage! It was Wednesday when the open air market was set up it in close proximity to the local "Super U" grocery store. The French love their markets (les marchés) because the goods are fresh and come straight from the source providers. I looked up and saw a small number of school-age children standing at the market vegetable and fruit vendors. Three little girls, that I presumed to be third graders, caught my attention as they clustered before the proprietors holding their pencils and writing down items categorized by name, weight, quantity and pricing.

I was curious and later was able to engage their teacher at the super market about why the children were such diligent shoppers. She indicated that her class was participating in a  school exercise that teaches math, writing, observation, and reasoning. Specifically, they were comparing prices between the outdoor market and the indoor grocery store. The boys and girls were taking their work very seriously and that made it even more entertaining for me to watch their deliberations among themselves. I thought, "How practical and what a great way to teach so many things!" And especially how to teach the value of comparative shopping at the local super market!
Young French Comparison Shoppers

Our family is serious about comparison shopping. Monique has a regular practice of going to at least three stores each week in search of value. One store will have can goods at a certain price. Another will have milk products and fresh fruits and vegetables. And another will have the best prices on meat. She and our son, Matt, regularly compare in a competitive spirit which one received the "bottom dollar price" on certain items. Their challenges to each other make me wonder if this quest for absolute value is simply good-natured and recreational or is it like a political exercise like "grocery gerrymandering?!"  😏

I have said for years that Christianity holds its own in the marketplace of ideas. What I mean is that if you will share your testimony of what Christ means to you and it leads to a serious discussion with a neighbor friend, co-worker, or even family member, you will not have to wonder if it makes sense to the recipient. God has been using such sharing of ideas and truth for years to advance His kingdom's work in this world.

One of the most intriguing witnessing encounters in Scripture that shows the power of the gospel to persuade seekers is Paul's experience in Athens at the Areopagus. The Apostle Paul engaged the Athenians by using a comparison between their idol's altar inscription: "To the unknown god," and his witness to the true God of Scripture, "What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man." Then, Paul made this powerful point that "They should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us" (Acts 17:23-24, 27, ESV). 

If it is of value to teach grocery comparison shopping skills to our children, then think of the value of learning how to start gospel conversations with seekers in the "marketplaces" who may be looking for something of eternal value and worth - meaning and purpose for their lives in Jesus Christ!

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,
active churchman and
doting grandparent.
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com


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