John G. Wendel and his sisters were some of the most miserly people of all time. Although they had received a huge inheritance from their parents, they spent very little of it and did all they could to keep their wealth for themselves.
John was able to influence five of his six sisters never to marry, and they lived in the same house in New York City for 50 years. When the last sister died in 1931, her estate was valued at more than $100 million. Her only dress was one that she had made herself, and she had worn it for 25 years.
The Wendels had such a compulsion to hold on to their possessions that they lived like paupers. Even worse, they were like the kind of person Jesus referred to “who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:21).
It almost goes without saying that we should save money for our later years. God also wants us to save so that when we do come accross people in need, we will have the resources to help them. In Luke 10:33-35 we read the familiar story of the good Samaritan. Most of us know the story. The Samaritan saw an injured man on the side of the road and helped him. He bandaged his wounds and took him to an inn to recover. Here’s the key verse. “The next day he handed the innkeeper two pieces of silver and told him to take care of the man. `If his bill runs higher than that,’ he said, `I’ll pay the difference the next time I am here.’” In other texts, the amount is two Denarii. A Denarius is the equivilant of a full day’s wage. Obviously, the Samaritan was either wealthy or he practiced good stewardship. I infer from the passage that the Samaritan was not a wealthy man. I believe that Jesus used the amount as an example of the sacrifice the Samaritan was making for this man.
Think about it. Figure out how much you make in a day. Could you afford to just give two days wages away? Have you saved enough that it wouldn’t be such a burden on you?
That is the true meaning of financial freedom. When we reach a place that we are able to help people in need without restrictions.