When one of our kids was two years old, they said the words “property accountability”.
That’s probably not very common so let me explain. My family hears me talk about this topic enough to where they give me some good natured ribbing about it. To me, property accountability means two things: 1) knowing where your stuff is and, 2) taking care of it.
Now, I try not to be too meticulous about this (my family might have another word for it) but here’s where I’m coming from:
First, there’s the practical side. If you don’t loose things and take care of what you own, you shouldn’t have to spend money very often on replacements. Buying something a second time drives me absolutely, positively nuts. On the homestead, it’s all about cost savings; and when we have to re-purchase something because we didn’t take care of it, this is not being good stewards of our money.
Even more importantly, taking care of your things demonstrates an appreciation for what you have in life. It’s an act of gratitude. However little you think you have, there’s always someone who has less. Everything we have is a result of God’s provision. To not take care of what we own is not respecting what God provided for our family to use on the homestead.
Lastly, property accountability reinforces responsibility, especially for kids. Doing things the right way, no matter how small, will build character in their lives. It’s easy to think certain details are too small, certain jobs too menial, certain titles too unimportant. However, we should aim to be good stewards of what we have and pass that mentality to the next generation.
The small things in life will allow you to practice for the big things. Always be faithful in the small.
Luke 16:10 (ESV)
“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.