Sermon Illustrations

There’s a story about a Middle Eastern oil sheik who had three sons. Two sons were physically normal. The third son was stooped over and crooked. The father told his three sons, "I want to grant you each a wish. What would that be?"

His first son said, "Father, I would like to become a physician. I would like to study in America, that I might return and help my people." The second son said, "Father, I would like to study in America to become an engineer, so that I might return and help my people." He granted their wishes.

The third son came to his father and said, "Father, I would like for you to have a statue sculpted for me of myself." The father was reluctant. He knew it was already painful for the child to look at himself in a mirror, much less there be a statue of the child that would always be a reminder of what he appeared to be.

The son said, "No, what I want is not a statue of me bent and crooked but of me standing straight and tall."

The father decided to grant that wish. He commissioned the statue, and the statue was sculpted ... a beautiful image of that son standing straight and tall and proud. He had the statue placed in the courtyard of their home, but the next morning, the father stepped out in the courtyard to see a scene that disturbed him deeply. He saw his son stooped and crooked, standing next to that statue. He was focused upon the statue, trying in agony to stand up straight. The father determined that never again would he look upon that courtyard.

Some years passed. The father forgot about his pledge to himself, and one day, he happened to glance in that direction....

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