There was once a man who had three sons. One day, the first son came to his father and said, “Dad, everyone knows you’re rich, and I’d frankly like some money. So what work do you need done around here that’ll earn me a bit of cash?”
The father replied, “Well son, there are a few things that need to be done…”and so the son set off to complete those tasks.
The second son came to his father and said, “Dad, everyone around here knows that you are influential and powerful. But they also know that when you get mad, things can get really scary. What work can I do to make sure you never get mad at me?”
The father replied to his fearful son, “Well son, there are a few things that need to be done…” and so the son set off to complete those tasks.
The third son came to his father and said, “Daddy, I love you. I love you so much that I want to do something that will bring joy to your heart. What can I do that will please my loving father?”
The father smiled and said, “Son, your heart already brings me joy.” And after a long hug, he said, “There are a few things that need to be done…” and so the son set off to complete those tasks with the loving glow of his father’s embrace still warm against his chest.
Those are the three children of God I have observed.
Some obey for heaven and eternal pleasures, some obey for fear of judgement and hell fire, and some obey purely for the smile on their Father’s face.
Why do you do what you do?
2 thoughts on “The Tale of Three Sons”
Wow, great illustration! Sometimes, I think I act like all three sons…but perhaps like the first two the most. It’s easy to do things “for” God to “get” things from Him, or out of fear from judgement (to “not” receive things from Him.) I really want to be that third son, who does things purely out of love for God, to bring joy to His heart. 🙂
I think you are more like the third son than you realize. But I agree, we all have bits of the three sons within us. I think perhaps the first two sons could even be symbolic of a young Christian who has simply not gotten to know their Father very well. The problem is when Christians stick to those mindsets and don’t mature into the third child.