Stacking up beliefs against the mighty dollar

There are many amazing stories of what God can do through one person.

There are many amazing stories of what God can do through one person.

The testimony of Jack Eckherd (1913-2004), a successful Florida businessman and the founder of the Eckerd Drugstore chain (second largest drugstore conglomerate in the U.S.), is one of these awe-inspiring accounts.

Jack came to faith in Christ in 1986, primarily through the influence of Chuck Colson (author of bestseller “Born Again”).

Colson related that it took more than a year of camaraderie and sharing his faith before Jack decided to follow Jesus.

Following his conversion to Christ, Jack walked into one of his drugstores. He noticed the Playboy and Penthouse magazines on a rack, and though he’d seen them there many times before, it had never bothered him … this time it did! (One sign of true conversion to Jesus is that we begin to see things differently).

Without hesitation, Jack consulted his leadership team and told them that the Playboy and Penthouse magazines must be gone from all of the Eckerd stores by the end of the week.

His accountant told him that taking them off the shelf would translate into a $3-million loss over the next year. Eckerd told him that the loss didn’t matter. The magazines went into the trash.

Jack wasn’t content with getting rid of the magazines in his stores. He sat down at his desk and wrote letters to all of the other drugstore chains, explaining what he had done, why he had done it and suggested that they should do the same. Jack received no response, but undaunted, he sent out a second mailing , but those were ignored, as well.

Jack thought that that was the end of it … but it wasn’t.

The Eckerd drugstores began to see a dramatic increase of both customers and sales. Investigations into the impressive upswing of business revealed that droves of people were coming to Jack’s stores because of the absence of the Playboy and Penthouse magazines. The financial gain far outweighed the initial loss.

Jack thought that was the end of it … but it wasn’t.

Amazingly, through a singular, sincere Christian action, Jack had accomplished what the Pornography Commission in Washington had failed to do with large budgets, political agendas and prolonged laborious efforts. One by one, across America, several stores (Dart Drugs, Revco, People’s Drugstore, 7-Eleven, etc.) began removing adult magazines from their shelves. While their motivation, unlike Jack’s, was financial rather than faithful, the outcome was that the literature was gone.

“The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to Him.” — Dwight L Moody

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” (1 Peter 5:6)

Pastor Ross Helgeton is the senior pastor of Evangelical Free Church of Erskine.

— Faith & Reflection

 

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