The Secret Rockefeller Learned

“Let each of you look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

— Philippians 2:4

Did you ever hear of the great lesson learned by John D. Rockefeller, Sr., founder of the Rockefeller dynasty? By the time he was 33, he had become a millionaire. By the age of 53, he had become the world’s first billionaire. He was the richest man in all the world. But Drs. S. E. McMillan and David E. Stern, in their book None of These Diseases, say that Rockefeller had traded his happiness and his health for his wealth.

Rockefeller had developed a condition called Alopecia, and as a result lost all of his hair. He looked like a mummy. Although he made a million dollars a week, a biographer says that he enjoyed absolutely nothing. He had lost his appetite and his sleep.

Then one night he realized that he was going to die soon, and he couldn’t take his wealth with him. That hit him like a bolt right out of the blue. He became totally depressed and overwhelmed. But then he had a brilliant idea.

Being a practical man, the next morning he got up and began to put his idea into practice. He started giving away money systematically. This focus on others caused a major turnaround. He eventually lived to 97.

He was living a happy life because he had simply made a discovery of that which Jesus told us long ago: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Rockefeller had learned to think of someone else other than just himself.

Father God, Giver of all gifts, give me strength for today to live a generous life today and to give of myself. Let Your generosity inspire me to also give generously to others…