Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Study Finds that We Can't See Money on Trees

Does money grow on trees? Even if it did, many of us might not notice it. That's the conclusion from a team of researchers who were studying something called "inattentional blindness." According to the study, inattentional blindness occurs when "people fail to become aware of objects unrelated to their current task," even when those objects are "interesting or surprising."

Inspired by an old YouTube video, two researchers from Western Washington University clipped money on a tree and then observed the reaction of the passersby. The branch of the tree with the money was bent so that it hung over the path at head height. So the unwitting participants in the study practically bonked their heads on the tree money.

Here are the results: overall, 396 people were observed walking down the path. Only 12 people failed to see and avoid the tree, but most people failed to see the money in the tree. And a whopping 94 percent of people on a cell phone were so distracted that they didn't spot the money. The authors of the study ended the study with a rather obvious but important conclusion: "Becoming aware of an object is generally assumed to require focused attention."

Possible Preaching Angles: Spiritual disciplines—like Bible reading, Prayer, Worship, Devotions—provide the "focused attention" we need to overcome our "inattentional blindness" in our life with Christ.

Related Sermon Illustrations

Finding God in the Closet

In an article for Today’s Christian Woman, author Jan Struck writes:

As a child, I was captivated by Jesus' words on prayer [in Matthew 6:5–6]. In the wee ranch house ...

[Read More]

Our Niagara Falls-Like Flood of Data

We are in the age of gargantuan numbers, truly instant information, ceaselessly hyperactive social media, when the World Wide Web has become a flood-driven Niagara of raw, uninterpreted ...

[Read More]