Good Business

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#81: “Good Business”
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2 Thessalonians 3:6-12

6In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.

7For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, 8nor did we eat anyone's food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. 9We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow. 10For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." 11We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies.

12Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat.

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Good Business

“Good Business” is episode #81 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written by Paul McCusker, and originally aired on August 5, 1989.


Robyn Jacobs thinks she can earn money the "easy" way by starting her own business, but she soon learns it's not so easy after all.


Robyn Jacobs wants money--lots of it. The trouble is, she doesn't want to work for it. Her dad proposes that she get a paper route, which she tries. Unfortunately, she can't seem to handle getting up early enough to deliver the papers on time. One of her customers, Mrs. Maddux, suggests Robyn move into a different line of work and offers her $10 to mow the lawn. Robyn jumps at the opportunity, and when she's finished, Mrs. Maddux's next-door neighbor also hires Robyn to clip his yard. Robyn knows a good thing when she sees it. She decides to start Robyn's Rotor Company, a gardening service.

Business is good — too good, as it turns out. Robyn is so booked up with lawns to mow, she doesn't have time to spend or enjoy any of the money she is making. She relates this to Jack Davis and Oscar Peterson on one of her rare afternoons off, and they say they wish they had her problem — they can't seem to find work anywhere. Another light bulb goes off in Robyn's head, and she immediately hires the two boys for $5 per lawn.

The business works like a charm - Jack and Oscar do all the work, while Robyn takes phone calls and rakes in the money. But after a few days of this, Jack and Oscar wise up. They demand more pay and threaten to go on strike if they don't get a raise. When nothing happens, Jack and Oscar hit the picket line. Robyn is back where she started. She wants to fold the business completely, but her father won't allow it. They discuss what went wrong, and Robyn learns that she shouldn't try to get something for nothing. An honest day's work must merit an honest day's pay. Robyn meets again with Jack and Oscar and tells them they can have the whole $10 for their work. After all, "a worker must be worthy of [his] wages."

Discussion Questions

  1. Robyn wanted to make money without working for it. Is that wrong?
    • Why or why not?
  2. Do you think Robyn paid Jack and Oscar fairly at first?
    • Explain.
  3. What does Jesus say about the love of money?


Heard in episode

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Ann Jacobs Robyn Jacobs
Bobby Adams Robyn Jacobs
Al Davis Jack Davis


  • When this episode originally aired, AIO received a lot of negative mail from listeners who viewed the episode as Communist in theme, citing lines where Dale tells Robyn that the best wage comes from an honest days work. Their inference was that Paul McCusker meant that everything should be equal, with no managers or people making money from their business, whereas the actual intent was to go after the mentality that 'I should get money without working for it.' As a result of the outcry, the staff re-recorded several lines for the album release.
  • Dale Jacobs, voiced by Odyssey writer and director Phil Lollar, is introduced in this episode. Dale would later be identified as the editor of The Odyssey Times newspaper.



Jack Davis: Hey, look, it's Robyn Roter! Hi, Greensleeves. How's it going?
Robyn Jacobs: I'm not in the mood, Jack.

Oscar Peterson: Is that a new dress?
Robyn Jacobs: Yeah!
Oscar Peterson: It's pretty! I had an aunt who was buried in a dress like that.
Robyn Jacobs: Thanks, Oscar.

Robyn Jacobs: All right, guys. You win. If you help me finish the lawns I said we'd do, I've give you what you want.
Jack Davis: You'll give us seven dollars and seventy-five cents?
Robyn Jacobs: No. I'll give you all of it: the whole ten dollars.
Jack Davis: What?!!
Oscar Peterson: But you can't! We only asked for—
Jack Davis: Quiet, Oscar! Be quiet!

Dale Jacobs: My little girl's becoming quite the financier.
Robyn Jacobs: No. I just wanna make money.