Dreamstime

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Anecdote Uncle Milton

We are going to call one of the main characters from this story Uncle Milton.  We chose that name because the image we are using is the one my beautiful child-bride Suzanne drew to represent Milton Friedman in our Redneck MBA videos.

Milton Friedman was a leading economist in the United States of America and won a Nobel Prize in economics. His theories were used throughout much of the last half of the twentieth century and have influenced our economy today.

Let’s pretend that Uncle Milton is your favorite uncle.  You love him with all your heart and you trust him completely.  To the best of your knowledge, he has never lied to you.  Uncle Milton has more money than you could begin to imagine and, as far as you know, is always right.

One day, Uncle Milton calls you and asks you to stop by his house. When you arrive, his
butler escorts you to Uncle Milton’s private office in the house.  There, Uncle Milton sits surrounded by computer monitors and telephones.  He is making constant investment decisions.  He is an economic whiz.  You are hoping he is going to give you a stock tip.  What he does give you is worth so much more.

When you arrive, Uncle Milton is on the phone with a senator discussing economics.  He motions for you to take a seat near his desk and finishes his phone call. As he hangs up, he says to you, “I suppose you are wondering why I called you here.”

You agree that you are curious.  Then, he tells you.  He hands you a cashier’s check made payable to you for fifty dollars ($50).  He tells you that it is yours to spend any way you choose.  He then says he would like for you to cash the check at his bank and get ten five dollar bills.  He then tells you that before you spend any of the money you are to bring him the first five dollar bill out of it.

You think this is odd, but you know that Uncle Milton has a reason for what he does.  He does not do things just to pull your strings and you know he has your best interest in mind. 

You go straight to the bank and do exactly like he said.  You ask the teller to make sure he gives you one very new, very crisp, very clean five-dollar bill.  He looks through his till and finds you the cleanest, newest, crispest five dollar bill in his till and counts that one out to you first.

You take that bill and put it in a separate envelope and hot foot it back to Uncle Milton’s house.  You go into his office and he smiles at you and puts the envelope in his desk drawer.

Next week, he calls you and you go through the same exact thing again.  This goes on for the better part of the year.  Uncle Milton gives you a certified check for fifty dollars and you bring him back five of it and you get to keep $45 of it to spend however you choose.

After six months, he calls you and this time he hands you a check for $500.  He tells you to get it cashed in fifty dollar bills ($50) and that you are to bring him the first fifty dollars back. 

You go to the bank and go to the same teller you have been using for all these transactions.  He looks at the check and smiles.  He asks you if you know why Uncle Milton doesn’t just go ahead and get his part of the money when he comes in to get the cashier’s check.

You have to admit this is odd, but you figure that a smart man like Uncle Milton has his reasons.  You ask the clerk for all the money in fifty-dollar bills and ask him to make sure that at least one of them is crisp, clean, and new.

You head back to Uncle Milton’s house and go to his office.  Again, he takes the envelope with the $50 bill in it and puts it in the drawer where he has put all the envelopes you have brought him in the past.

It never crosses your mind to not bring the money back to Uncle Milton.  After all, it is ALL his money in the first place.  He has plenty of money of his own and would not miss any of it.  But you know that Uncle Milton has something in mind and you obey his instructions implicitly.

Time goes by.  Each week Uncle Milton calls you and each time he gives you a cashier’s check for an ever-growing amount and each time you are instructed to bring back the first ten percent in the form of the crispest, newest bill or bills you can find.

It soon reaches the stage where he hands you a cashier’s check for five hundred thousand dollars. You think to yourself, “Wow that is a lot of money”.  All while you are driving to the bank, you think, “I really can’t afford to give Uncle Milton back fifty thousand dollars.  Maybe he won’t miss it if I don’t give him all the money.  He just sticks it in his drawer without counting it anyway.  You decide the right thing to do is to give him the ten percent he asks for back to him.  After all, it is ALL his money anyway.  The money you get to keep is a gift.

Every week he calls and every week you bring him back his ten percent.  One day when you go in, Uncle Milton tells you he wants to show you something.  He takes you to the back of his house and the two of you climb on a golf cart.

 He drives you across his vast estate that has orchards, vineyards, fields of fruits and vegetables of all types.  He turns down a road on his estate that has mansion after mansion.  Some are completely built and some are under construction.

In some places there are vacant lots. There are stakes marking their boundaries but nothing else.

Some are huge and ornate and some are nice and large but not as ornate or large as the others.
He pulls up to a beautiful mansion and reaches in his pocket and pulls out a key.  He tells you that this key is the key to your new mansion.  You notice that some of the houses on your block are still under construction and look like construction has just stopped or has slowed to a crawl.

He tells you that those mansions are for some of your cousins.  He has been doing the same thing with them each week.  Each week, he gives them a cashier's check.  Each week, they bring back some of the money. 
Some bring back more than the ten percent he asked for.  The houses that are larger and more ornate belong to them.

The vacant lots are where the houses of the cousins who did not bring back any of the money would have been built but, since they did not bring back any of the money, nothing was built.

He explains that those houses that are not complete belong to the cousins who only brought back part of the money they were supposed to.

He says, “You see, I didn’t need the money I gave you to do what I intended to do.  It was all a test.  Each week when you brought back the ten percent, I had the builders add a little more to your mansion. For those who gave more than their ten percent, I added more to the mansion.  For those who brought back less, I only built a little more to their house."

"It was about more than building houses.  It was about building the person I wanted you to be.  I never needed that money to do my work.  I needed that money to help you to grow."

And that is how it is with God.  HE does not need our money to do His work. He uses the money we bring to the storehouse, our local church, to help us to grow spiritually

When we tithe our full ten percent, we are showing the stewardship that God is trying to build in us. 

Please Visit My Child Bride Suzanne's Blog



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