Parable of the Wealthy Man

There was a man who was exceptionally wealthy but he kept his fortune hidden and no one knew of his wealth for he lived no different than the beggar on the street.  His wealth came by an inheritance and at an early age he saw how evil grew and he feared his own greed and wantonness.  After many years of living in his poverty he made a decision to spend his inheritance. 

In a moment of decision he gave 1/3 to a just friend and asked him to spend the fortune wisely, 1/3 he gave to a charity and 1/3 he kept for the comforts of life.  The next day the man died and God granted Him the privilege to watch his wealth from heaven.

The just friend grew his fortune and life flourished in abundance creating wealth and happiness for many.  His charitable donation fed many children and sheltered the homeless for many years.  The money he kept for his own comforts was passed on to his only nephew, whom he loved dearly. 

When asked by God which part of his wealth brought him the most joy he replied, "I cannot say?"

"My heart was full to know that my friend invested and shared the wealth wisely and that it brought happiness and security to so many.  My heart wept and again I was filled with joy to know that my charitable donation could buy bread and shelter for those in need.  And my heart sored to know that that which I had kept for myself was passed on to my nephew, for in all the world I loved him the most."

Then God smiled and said, "True wealth cannot be measured by the fortune that is kept, but only by the fortune that is shared.  In your decision to give I called you home so that you might see the gift of the life abundant. I granted you life so that you might know of the life abundant, for love is the only wealth that is measured by the soul and evil cannot consume the heart that gives."

Tears and humbleness came over the man as the essence of God's goodness illuminated his soul.  And he looked to his right and there before him were both of his parents. For they had watched from heaven as their son lived out his days in solitude, knowing that one day his choice in life would bless so many.   For eternity came by the grace of God as love found a home in the soul of the wealthy man.