Stewardship Resource

Greed and Grace

Story  Story
  • Author: Unknown
  • Updated: 08/11/2008

The old movie, "Stars in My Crown," is a story about a man who showed amazing grace in the midst of incredible greed.


Many years ago there was a movie titled, "Stars in My Crown."

It told of an elderly black man who owned a little farm outside a southern town. Some very precious metal was discovered in that area, and suddenly there was pressure on him from many people to sell his land. But he would not sell. He wanted to stay exactly where he was. However, the people in the area would not take "no" for an answer.

They did everything they could to make him move. They burned down his barn, shot through his house one night, and eventually threatened to hang him by sundown the next day if he did not agree to sell.

The local Methodist minister heard about the trouble and went to visit the old man. At sundown of the next day, all the leading citizens of the community came to the farm dressed in their white hoods. They were ready to hang the black gentleman if he refused to sell. The farmer came out on the porch to meet them wearing his best clothes. He said that he was ready to die and that he had asked the minister to draw up for him his Last Will and Testament, which he wanted to have read at that time.

The minister read the will, and those present realized quickly the old man was giving everything to them. He willed the farm to the banker who seemed so hellbent on having it. He gave his rifle to another of the men there who had first learned to hunt with it. He gave his fishing pole to another. In fact, that old man gave everything he had to the people who were prepared to kill him. He killed them first with love and affection.
The impact was incredible.

Seeing goodness given in the face of such animosity was more than any of them could tolerate. One by one, in shame, they turned away, and the entire lynching mob disappeared. The minister's grandson had watched everything from a distance, and as everyone departed, he ran up to his grandfather and asked, "What kind of will was that, Grand-daddy?

The old minister answered, "That, my son, was the will of God."

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