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An elderly man was desperately ill. Knowing the time for his departure was near, he called for his closest friends to come see him one last time. Attending him were his doctor, his pastor and his business manager.


The old man said, “I know you can’t take it with you, but who knows for sure? What if the experts are mistaken? I want to account for all possibilities. So I’m giving you each an envelope containing $100,000. When I die, I want you each to slip the envelope in my jacket pocket at the funeral service. Then, if I do need money in the life to come, I’ll be ready. And I’m giving the envelopes to you because you are my most trusted friends.”


Shortly thereafter, the man did die. Each of his three friends was seen slipping something into the deceased’s coat pocket as he walked up to the casket to pay his final respects.


Following the service, while these friends were visiting with each other, the doctor, with a sheepish look on his face, said, “Guys, I have a confession to make. You know with the cost of medicine today, I don’t make that much money. The hospital is desperate for funds. We can’t even replace the CAT scan machine that’s broken down. So, I took $20,000 for the new CAT scan and put the rest in the coffin.”


The minister cleared his throat and looked down at his shoes. He said, “I, too, have a confession to make. As you know, our church is seriously overburdened by the needs of the homeless.

I couldn’t just see burying that money. So, in hopes of helping the homeless, I took $50,000 out of the envelope and put the rest in his pocket.”


Looking sternly at the doctor and the minister, the businessman exclaimed, “I can’t believe what I’m hearing. I am astonished and deeply disappointed that you would treat a solemn trust so casually. He was our friend. I want you to know that I placed in his casket my personal check for the full $100,000.” (From Sins We Love, by Randy Rowland, p. 125-126)

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