With the national coffers depleted from costly wars, King Frederick William III of Prussia found his nation seriously short of funds as it attempted to rebuild. He refused to capitulate to his enemies, and he couldn’t face disappointing his people. After considerable thought, he asked the women of Prussia to bring their gold and silver jewelry to be melted down and used as exchange for the things the nations desperately needed. As each woman brought her jewelry, she was given a “decoration” of bronze or iron as a symbol of the king’s gratitude. On the decoration was inscribed, “I gave gold for iron, 1813.”
The response was overwhelming. The women came to prize their gifts from the king more than their former jewels! The decorations were proof that they had sacrificed for their king. In fact, it became highly unfashionable in early nineteenth century Prussia for women to wear jewelry, but very fashionable to wear a cross of iron. It was from this that the Order of the Iron Cross was established.
The meaning of life does not lie in the possessions of things, but rather, how we use things to bring true meaning to life.
Luke 12:15 – Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”