What Did That Penny Cost You?

Posted by Stacy Lewis on February 14, 2014 @ 1:12 PM

Written by: Craig Waddell

One of the first “Duh!” moments that occurred after Sarah and I married, and I found myself as the man of the house in charge of making repairs, concerned an appliance that would not work and an old time fuse box.  I knew enough to check the fuses and even to try changing them, but I still couldn’t get the washer to operate.  When Daddy came down to help, the first thing he did was screw the fuse in tighter, and “Viola!” the washer ran like a brand new one.

Fuses are electrical safety devices intended to keep an appliance or tool from burning out due to pulling too much amperage.  They also prevent the household electrical wiring from overheating and possibly causing a fire.  Each fuse has an amperage rating and only a specified maximum amperage fuse or less is supposed to be used in certain circuits, depending upon the size of the electrical wiring and its purpose.  The old small-based, screw-in type fuses were single use and considered “safe” because the threaded shafts were different lengths so that only a 15 amp fuse would work in a 15 amp circuit, etc. As it is with most safety features, many people found this to be annoying and inconvenient; a small fuse shot, the appliance wouldn’t work, there was no time to run to the store or it was in the middle of the night when no stores were open, so what could they do?  They either had to do without or they had to find a way to replace the annoying blown fuse with a stronger one.  People soon discovered that a penny was just the right size and thickness to bypass the safety feature and a 20 amp or even 30 amp fuse could be screwed in to replace the 15 amp.  They often reasoned that the stronger fuse would work better anyway since the higher the amperage, the less likely that it would shoot again, and thus they would save money and time. The problem?  Since the safety device would not work correctly, wires melted and fires burned down houses.  What did that penny cost those people?  Their home and sometimes their lives.

We have a built in safety feature.  It is called our conscience.  When we are young, that safety feature is very sensitive and can easily “shoot” which is a good thing; how many times do we tell our kids, “If someone asks you to do something that doesn’t seem or feel right, don’t do it.”  As we grow older, that sensitive conscience becomes inconvenient and it’s continual “blowing” annoys us because it won’t let us do what we want to do without our feeling guilty.   We search for ways to bypass this safety feature and soon we discover that inserting a penny will allow us to install a stronger fuse which requires more shocking immorality to cause our conscience to prick our hearts.  “I’m an adult,” is one penny many use, but it bypasses the fact that simply growing older does not transform anything from sin to righteousness.  “Different circumstances allow for different reactions” is another penny people insert behind their conscience in order to screw in a stronger safety device and thus by reasoning that their specific station in life justifies their practicing a sinful act, they can do so without pricking their consciences.  Other pennies range from, “Everybody’s doing it,” to “I’m only hurting myself,” to “Times have changed.”  What do these pennies cost these people when their consciences do not “blow” as they should?  Their families, their self-esteem, their dignity, and many times their eternal souls.

“Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;” (1 Tim. 4:2)

“Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.” (1 Tim. 1:5)

“Unto the pure all things are pure, but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.” (Titus 1:15)

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