MONEY OR ADVICE?
A story is told of a very poor newly wedded, young couple who lived in a small farm.
One day the husband made the following proposal to his wife:
Honey, I will leave the house: I will travel faraway, get a job
and work hard in order to come back and give you the
comfortable life that you deserve. I do not know how long I
will stay away, I only ask one thing, please wait for me, and
while I am away, you should be faithful to me, because I will
be faithful to you. His wife agreed, so the young man left. He
walked many days until he found a farmer who was in need of
someone to help him. The young man offered his services. He
was accepted. Therefore he discussed the terms with his
Let me work for as long as I want and when I think I should go
home, please relieve me of my duties. I do not want to receive
my salary. I ask you to save it for me, until the day I leave. The
day I decide to go, please give me the money and I will go my
way. They agreed on that. So, the young man worked for
twenty years without holiday and without rest. After twenty
years, he came to his boss and said:
Boss, I want my money, because I am returning to my home.
The boss replied:
All right, after all, I made a deal with you and I will stick to it.
However, before you go I want to offer you something new: I
will give you all your money and send you away; or I will give
you 3 pieces of advice and send you away. If I give you
money, you lose the 3 pieces of advice. If I give you the 3
pieces of advice, you lose the money. Now, go to your room
and think about your answer. He thought for two days. Then
he went to the boss and told him:
I want the 3 pieces of advice. The boss stressed again, if I
give you the 3 pieces of advice, I will not give you the money,
and the man replied:
I want the 3 pieces of advice. The boss then told him:
No. 1: Never take shortcuts in your life, shorter and unknown
paths can cost your life. No. 2: Never be too curious, for
curiosity towards evil can be deadly. No. 3: Never make
decisions in moments of anger or pain, because when you
repent, it could be too late. After giving these 3 pieces of
advice, the boss said to him:
Here, you have 3 loaves of bread, 2 are for you to eat during
the journey and the last is for you to eat with your wife when
you get home. So, the man went his way, after twenty years
away from home and from his wife, whom he loved so much.
After the first day of travel, he found a man who greeted him
Where are you going? He replied:
To a distant place which is about 20 days away if I continue
walking. The man said to him:
Ol’ boy, this path is too long! I know a shortcut that is very safe
and you will arrive in 5 days only. The man began to follow the
path suggested until he remembered the first piece of advice.
Then, he returned and followed the long path. Days later he
learned that the shortcut led to an ambush.
After a few more days of travel, he found an inn by the
roadside, where he could rest. He paid for a room and after
taking a bath he lay down to sleep. During the night he woke
up as he heard a terrifying scream. He rose to his feet and
went to the door to check what happened. As he was opening
the door, he remembered the second piece of advice.
Therefore he returned, lay down again and slept. At dawn,
after breakfast, the owner of the lodging asked him if he had
not heard the scream at night. He affirmed that he heard.
Then, the host said:
Were you not curious to see what happened? And he replied:
No, I was not. Then the host said:
You are the first guest to leave this inn alive. My neighbour is
completely crazy. He usually shouts at night to call someone’s
attention. When some of the guests come out, he kills them
and buries their bodies in the backyard. The man continued his
long journey, eager to arrive soon.
After many days and nights walking, he was very tired, but he
finally saw his house far away. It was night. He saw some light
coming out of the window of his house and was able to see
the silhouette of his wife. But he also saw that she was not
alone. He came closer and saw there was a man with her. She
softly caressed his hair. When he saw that scene, his heart
was filled with hatred and bitterness. He decided to rush at
and kill them both mercilessly. However, he took a deep
breath and he remembered the third piece of advice. Then he
stopped, reflected and decided to sleep outside that night. He
slept in the midst of the bushes, determined to make a
decision the next day. At dawn, he was calmer and thought:
I will not kill my wife and her lover. I am going back to my
boss to ask him to take me back. But before I go, I want to tell
my wife that I have always been faithful to her.
He went to the front door and knocked. When his wife opened
the door and recognized him, she cried and embraced him
warmly. He tried to push her away, but he
was not able. Then, with tears in his eyes he told her:
I was faithful to you but you betrayed me.
She was shocked, so she replied:
How did I betray you? I have never betrayed you. I waited
patiently for you for twenty good years. Then he asked:
How about the man that you were caressing yesterday? And
That man is your son. When you left, I discovered I was
pregnant. Today he is twenty years old. Hearing that, the man
asked her forgiveness. He met and hugged his son. Then he
told them all the things he had experienced while away.
Meanwhile, his wife prepared some coffee for them to eat
together, the last bread given by his boss. After a prayer of
thanksgiving, he broke the bread. When he looked at it, he
found all his money inside. In fact, there was even more than
the right payment for his twenty years of dedication and hard
Friends, our God is like this boss. When he asks us to make a
sacrifice, he wants to give us more than what we give Him. He
wants us to have His unique wisdom as well as the