"I'm so sorry. Besides my prayers, which you will have, what else can I do?"

"I'm going to have to ask that you return the check," said Mr. Jackson.

"Of course," said the missionary handing back the piece of paper, "I understand."

Taking the check, the businessman tore it in half and dropped it in the trashcan beneath his desk. Then, without saying a word, he pulled his checkbook out again, opened it, wrote another check and handed it across the mahogany desk.

Somewhat surprised, the missionary looked at the new check and turned pale. It was a check for $100,000! "I don't understand," he stammered, "you just asked me to return the $50,000 check when you got the terrible news. Why are you giving me twice as much now?"

Mr. Jackson leaned forward and rested his chin on his large hands and, speaking in a low, deliberate voice he said, "You're right, I just got some devastating news. Humanly speaking, there's nothing I can do to fix the problem. So now it's between just the Lord and me. I want Him to know where my trust is."

What faith! I doubt that mine is that strong. Is yours? But if we're ever going to get it right, we have to understand what Mr. Jackson understood. He got the big picture: We really don't own anything — it's all God's! Just like King Solomon of old, Mr. Jackson realized that we come into this world without anything and we will one day check out without anything — all the stuff in the middle is just on loan. Solomon said it this way: "As he had come naked from his mother's womb, so will he return as he came. He will take nothing from the fruit of his labor that he can carry in his hand." (Ecclesiastes 5:15)

Originally posted October 20, 2005

Steve Diggs presents the No Debt No Sweat! Christian Money Management Seminar at churches and other venues nationwide. Visit Steve on the Web at  www.stevediggs.com or call 615-834-3063. The author of several books, today Steve serves as a minister for the Antioch Church of Christ in Nashville. For 25 years he was President of the Franklin Group, Inc. Steve and Bonnie have four children whom they have home schooled. The family lives in Brentwood, Tennessee.


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