Sermon Illustrations

A certain man, living in Budapest, Hungary, went to his rabbi, complaining: “Life is unbearable. Nine of us must live in the one room of my house. What can I do?”

The rabbi answers, “Take your goat into the room with you.” The man is incredulous. Certain he has misheard, he asks again. But the rabbi insists: “Do as I say; take your goat into your one room and come back in a week.”

One week later the man returns, even more distraught: “We cannot stand it; the goat is filthy, it stinks and it destroys everything.”

The rabbi pauses, thinking deeply, and says: “You will return to your home and remove the goat. And come back in one week.”

When the man returns the next week, he is radiant: “Life is beautiful! We enjoy life so much and are so thankful — there are only nine of us in the house.”

Perspective — a different perspective transforms attitudes. Our thoughts actually bend our feelings. So the Bible says that becoming truly grateful requires that we think about life and see the world as God does.