The Crazy Cousin

Buck is a wiry West Texas Cowboy I know with a big mustache and a thick accent. One morning, we were talking in the church office, and he said, “Have I ever told you about my crazy cousin, Scotty?”

“No,” I said.

“Scotty lived behind the Gifford Hill rock crushing plant in an old shanty shack. No electricity or running water. He drank water out of the stock tank.”

A “stock tank” is Texan for a brown muddy pond the cows drink from.

Buck said that Scotty would beg for leftover bread and fruit from the local grocery store. Sometimes he could talk the butcher out of the leftover ends of bacon. He cooked his food on an iron campfire ring. Buck said Scotty got his clothes out of the dump behind the plant. He said the cloths never fit and seldom matched.

Buck said, “One time I went to check on Scotty, and he was bent over the camp fire ring cooking some bacon. All he had on was a pair of cowboy boots that didn’t match, an old straw hat, and a pair of women’s underwear.” Buck smiled at the memory.

“But here’s the weird part. Scotty wasn’t poor. He was rich! All that crushed stone from the Gifford Hill plant was coming off his land.”

The church secretary was nodding. She broke in, “That’s true. I remember him from my job at the savings and loan. I remember when he came in one day. It was really crowded, and e was wearing an old threadbare pair of overalls. No shirt. The buttons on the sides were all undone.” She shuddered. “He wanted to know how much he had in his checking account. I looked it up and it was over $75,000. I wrote it on a slip and passed it to him. He couldn’t read it. ‘What’s it say?’ I tried to whisper, ‘It says you have $75,000.’ ‘Heh, what’s that? I can’t hear you.’ ‘It says you have $75,000.’”

She said every person in the lobby stood there with their mouths hanging open.

Scotty was wealthy but he lived like a beggar. How sad is that!

Unfortunately, there are a lot of folks that live their spiritual life like crazy cousin Scotty. God has redeemed you by grace, and freed you from the poverty of sin and shame and guilt. And yet, despite these riches, you still live like a spiritual beggar.

Check out Romans 8:16-17:

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God . . . and if children . . . fellow heirs with Christ

Did you realize that? You don’t have to live like a beggar.

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