The “Honest” Pastor

A parable about options

Doug Stewart
Mar 13, 2018 · 3 min read

There was once a pastor who is very honest.

Photo by Simon Alibert on Unsplash

For 30 years he served his community well. He cared for the sick, clothed the needy and fed the poor.

The only trouble was his church was very small and funds were limited. He did his best to provide and serve his community but there never seem to be enough money or resources to go around.

Until one man died.

There were two brothers who attended his church. Frankly, he had no idea why. They were the wealthiest businessmen in town and as far as he could tell they never made an honest dollar their entire life. They took advantage of the poor, they marginalized the week and neglected the needs of anyone other than themselves.

One day the youngest brother passed away unexpectedly and the pastor was called in to help prepare for the funeral.

When he arrived, he was met by the other brother who had a very specific instruction about the funeral.

Tomorrow, at my brother’s funeral, you are going to tell the congregation that he was an absolute Saint.

The pastor had never been asked to outright lie before. Especially, in the house of the Lord. He didn’t think twice before he told the man that he could not (and would not) tell a lie.

The older brother was indignant! He was furious!

I’ll tell you what preacher, if you get up on that pulpit and you tell the congregation that my brother was an absolute saint, I will personally donate a million dollars to the Church.

Now, the pastor knew what a million dollars could do for his tiny Church and the humble community he served. Thousands of people would receive medical care. Even more would be fed and clothed. Not to mention, the money would get put to much better use by him and his mission then the crooked no good businessman.

The pastor wrestled with the Lord over his decision all night. He tossed and turned trying to decide what he might do.

The next morning, the pastor woke up at peace with the decision he and the Lord agreed on. He knew exactly what to do.

The funeral begin, the songs were sung, and it came time for the pastor to give the eulogy. He walked up to the pulpit looked out with compassion at the members of his community that he loved & served.

Then, he slammed his fist of the pulpit!

The man in this casket was a crook! He was a liar! He never thought of anyone but himself! He was one of the most despicable humans I ever had the displeasure to lay eyes on!

The pastor paused. You could hear a pin drop. Then he continued,

But compared to his brother,



Sometimes, things aren’t as black and white as we’d like them to be. We want an either or. We want a easy decision. We want the “right” answer.

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), we live in a world streaked with grey.

If you think there are only two options, take a closer look.

There’s ALWAYS a third option.

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Spelling and grammatical errors compliments of dyslexia : — )

Doug Stewart

Written by

Dale Carnegie instructor | TEDx Presenter | Coach | Podcaster | Storyteller — Lives in Raleigh, North Carolina

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