Have you ever heard the expression, “He can pinch a dollar so tight that he makes the eagle squeal?” Hetty Green was the prime example of that adage. At one time she was called America’s greatest miser. When she died in 1916, she left an estate valued at 100 million dollars comparable today to more than a billion dollars. In spite of her immense wealth, Hetty was so miserly that she ate cold oatmeal in order to save the expense of heating the water. When her son had a severe leg injury, she took so long trying to find a free clinic to treat him that his leg had to be amputated caused by gangrene. It is said that Hetty hastened her own death by bringing on a seizure while arguing the merits of skim milk because it was cheaper than whole milk.
Yes, Hetty is a very extreme case of selfishness, but many people have a miserly outlook on life. They are self-centered and not warm or generous with God’s love to those around them. God is the perfect example of generosity. He loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son. He could have given some worn out old angel that was ready for the scrap pile or given a stepson. But, He gave the very best in all of heaven—His only begotten Son. The word “only” means there is no other and “begotten” declares He is from Him.
Many people will give rejects, seconds, or something that they have grown tired of, but that is not the case with God. He is motivated by love. In fact, the whole process of giving was started by God which He created into the fabric of the world. Trees give fruit, shade, value, oxygen, building materials. Animals give pleasure, entertainment, friendship, food, and even wealth. Clouds give rain, shade, and signs. Yes, the whole creation is filled with life giving energy that all of us enjoy.
I don’t know of anyone who likes a selfish person and that is even true for a selfish person. The reason is obvious: all things were made to be loved then to give it away. The most miserable people on the planet are those who have abundance and refuse to give it away. The fear of losing what they have and the greed of not being satisfied with what they have keeps them tense, tight, and stressed.
One day a ruler asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus responded by quoting the old commandments. The ruler bounded, “All these have I kept from my youth up.” Thinking that he was in the door, Jesus came back with, “You lack one thing.” I’m sure that a puzzled look appeared on the ruler’s face as he thought, “What have I left out?” Leaving no stones unturned, Jesus punctuated: “Sell all you have and give it unto the poor and you shall have treasure in heaven and come and follow me.” This was his acid test. When the ruler heard this he went away sorrowfully for he was very rich. The acid test is different for each of us. What is dear to you? The Lord may ask you to give it up for Him. This is your true test. You can find out more at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com.
Pastor J.C. Myers, III
Pastor J.C. founded Joy Christian Ministries in 1992. He was Sr. Pastor at Joy Christian Ministries in West Sacramento, California from 1992-2016. He was succeeded by his 2nd son, Pastor Brandon Myers who had been under his father's ministry and teaching for 39 years.