By Fylvia Fowler Kline, Assistant Director, General Conference Stewardship Ministries

Summary: The evil and danger of greed are exposed through the use of a story from Indian mythology.

In the world of Indian mythology lived a barber. He was no ordinary barber; he was the king’s personal barber. Every week, he walked, from his cottage to the palace, to cut and style the king’s hair. He was a faithful barber; he worked for only the king. Every week, he received an ample salary from the king.

One day, returning home from the palace, the barber heard a voice ask him: Would you like pots and pots of gold? He ignored what he assumed was his over- active imagination. But, over and over again, more and more insistent each time, the voice asked him Would you like pots and pots of gold?

The barber could take it no longer. Visions of everything money could buy clouded his reasoning, and he yelled out to the mysterious voice: Yes! Yes! I want pots and pots of gold! Pumped up with adrenaline of anticipated wealth, the barber ran all the way home. Waiting there for him were seven tall jars. The first was filled with gold--and so was the second, the third, the fourth, the fifth, the sixth--but not the seventh. The last jar was empty! If only I had not run all the way the barber moaned to himself. I should have allowed more time for all the jars to f ill up. I ran in anticipation and now I have an empty jar. I must fill the seventh jar too.

So, the barber took on more clients. He worked and worked all day, but the jar never got full. He even asked the king for a raise, which the generous king gave him. But the jar still would not get full. A few months later, he asked for a second raise in salary. This time, the king responded Are you still trying to fill the seventh jar?

Surprised by the king’s knowledge of his financial predicament, yet relieved that he no longer had to bear the secret alone, he told the king of his long days and sleepless nights. It was the Greed that you heard that day said the king. Haven’t I always supplied your needs? You don’t need anyone else when you have me. Now go, confront that beast, Greed. Give him back the jars of gold, and you’ll have your life back again.

This issue of Dynamic Steward helps you analyze the role personal finance plays in life. Take the counsel of our Heavenly King. Arm yourself with the knowledge that He alone supplies all your needs. Go confront the beast that holds you prisoner . . . and get back your life!