Making a Thorough Self-Evaluation

2 Corinthians 8:7–8

I’LL NEVER FORGET SOMETHING I heard on the radio several years ago. A woman in West Palm Beach, Florida, died alone at the age of seventy-one. The coroner’s report was tragic. “Cause of death: malnutrition.”

The dear lady wasted away to fifty pounds. Investigators who found her said the place where she lived was a veritable pigpen. One seasoned inspector declared he’d never seen a residence in greater disarray.

The woman had begged food at her neighbors’ back doors and gotten what clothes she had from the Salvation Army. From all outward appearances, she was a penniless recluse. But such was not the case.

Amid the jumble of her unclean, disheveled belongings, two keys were found which led the officials to safe deposit boxes at two different local banks. What they found was hard to believe.

The first contained over one hundred stock certificates, valuable certificates, bonds, and solid financial securities, not to mention a stack of cash amounting to nearly $200,000. The second box had no certificates, only more currency—lots of it—$600,000 to be exact. Adding the net worth of both boxes, they found that the woman had in her possession well over a million dollars! She was a millionaire who died a victim of starvation in a humble home.

We need to make an investigation of our own possessiveness, our tendency to hoard, to hold onto, rather than invest in the lives of others. Remember Paul’s words to the Corinthian church:

Since you excel in so many ways . . . I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving. I am not commanding you to do this. But I am testing how genuine your love is by comparing it with the eagerness of the other churches.


The Corinthians abounded in vision, spiritual gifts, knowledge, zeal, and even love. Paul urged them to abound in generosity, too. Be investors in people!

This is timely advice for our own generation. Turn to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to point out where you need to adjust—especially regarding your attitude toward investing in others. You may be surprised what His audit of your generosity reveals.

Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at

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Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.