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Does the name “Hetty Green” ring a bell with you? You had to grow up in a family like mine to appreciate someone like Hetty. She was known for her wealth, not because of the measure of her wealth but because of her failure to access her wealth. She was named by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “greatest miser,” which meant that even though being incredibly rich, she was a renowned cheapskate. When she died in 1916, "Hetty" Green left an estate valued at over $100 million. It is said that she ate cold oatmeal instead of paying to heat it. Her son suffered a leg amputation because she delayed so long looking for a free clinic that his case became incurable.

Hetty was wealthy, yet she chose to live like a pauper. Eccentric? Certainly! Crazy? Perhaps! She was so foolish that she hastened her own death by bringing on an attack of apoplexy while arguing about the value of drinking skimmed milk! But Hetty Green is an illustration of too many Christian believers today. They have limitless heavenly riches at their disposal, yet they live like paupers. We are rich in God’s grace and mercy, let’s live like it.

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