Rags with honesty or embroidery with deceit?

A business tycoon, who had grown pretty old, decided to appoint a successor as chief executive officer. Everyone expected he would choose one of the seven directors of his company. He surprised people by handpicking employees at various levels of his company to join the directors for a selection test.

At the boardroom, he handed each one a seed saying: "To each of you I give this seed that you may let me know how best you have nurtured it for a year from now."

Their brains ticked as they took the seeds home.

An employee named David planted it in a large pot of mud and compost, watered it daily, anxiously looking at the pot every day. Exactly a year later, everyone came in with their pots for the meeting. David was so scared and uneasy that he took the last row as he saw the many pots with well-grown flowery plants, each seeming to outdo each other in beauty. David's pot had no plant at all.

As the business tycoon surveyed the pots, he found David huddled in a corner of the room holding his pot in fear and anxiety. "David, will you please come up here and tell us why you have no plant in that pot?" David trembled as he walked toward the chief saying, "Sir, I am deeply sorry. My wife, children and I took utmost care to grow the seed all through the year but there was not a sprout till now."

The chief congratulated David saying, "I appoint this man the chief executive officer and successor to all my fortunes for his integrity, honest and humility.

The seeds I gave each of you were boiled and dried. They were dead seeds. All of you replaced the seeds when they did not grow, just to impress me with your plants."

At some point in time before in life, we will have to be accountable before the Lord. It is better to stand before the Lord in rags and a heartful of honesty than dressed in ill-gotten embroidery and a heartful of deceit.

An honest person is a delight to the Lord, worthy of every blessing.

The Psalmist recounts God's delight in those who are honest before Him. "I know that you delight in me: my enemy will not shout in triumph over me.

But you have upheld me because of my integrity, and set me in your presence forever" (Psalm 41:11-13).

The Book of Proverbs declares, "Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered, but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall" (Proverbs 28:18).

A person with integrity will never stoop to the lures of the world, but the one who has not, will suffer even the loss of his soul "for what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but suffers the loss of his soul?" (Luke 9:25)

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