Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Robber that Robbed Himself

  Back in 1887 at a small neighborhood grocery store, a middle-aged gentleman named Emanuel Nenger gave the assistant a $20 note to pay for the turnip greens he was purchasing.  When the assistant placed the note in the cash drawer she noticed that some of the ink from the $20 came off on her hands, which were wet from wrapping the turnip greens.  She'd known Mr. Nenger for years and was shocked. She pondered, "Is this man giving me a counterfeit $20?"

  She dismissed the thought immediately and gave him his change, but $20 was a lot of money in those days so she notified the police. Once they verified the note was counterfeit, they procured a search warrant and went to Emanuel Nenger's home where they found in his attic the tools he was using to reproduce the counterfeit bills. They found an artist's easel, paint brushes, and paints which Nenger was using to meticulously paint the counterfeit money.

Real Bill
Fake Bill painted by Emanuel Nenger
 Turns out, Nenger was a master artist. In their search, the police also found three portraits that he had painted. Those paintings would later sell at public auction for a little over $16,000!  The irony was that it took him almost as much time to paint a bill as it did to paint those portraits. The same time and skill us to commit the crime of forgery would only net him at most fifty dollars but when put into the legitimate work as a painter could get him over five thousand!

  We may not have the skill as painter like Nenger had but God has given each of us something to be used. In 1st Peter 4:10 we read, 
As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” 

  We too have a choice in how we make use those skills. We can use them selfishly in less than noble endeavors or we can put them to use in the kingdom of God.  One way might give us a little gain but the other will reward us far beyond anything we can imagine.  Don’t rob yourself of the treasure of heaven by not using your talents or wasting them on wicked schemes. Use the gifts you have been given to glorify God. We have limited time to use our skills. Don’t waste it on something that won’t be worth it!

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