Yesterday I posted about a podcast I’ve been listening to recently. In the same session, Tim Keller told an illustration that Charles Spurgeon used about a King. I did a quick search online and only found it here. The post refers to the same podcast I’m listening to, so I’m not sure if it’s the original illustration or if he typed it up in his own words. Either way, I copied and pasted it here.
There once was a good king. He had a vast kingdom and many, many subjects. One day, one of the king’s subjects, a gardener, came into his courts. He brought with him a huge carrot. He presented the carrot to the king saying, “thank you, o king, for ruling justly!” The king was impressed with the gift, and perceived that the gardener was skillful and hard working. He said to the gardener, “because I can see that you are a skillful gardener, and would be a great service to me, I am giving you the much larger land next to your garden to farm. Go and produce good fruits!” The gardener left and did as the king had commanded. Meanwhile, a horse breeder, another of the king’s subjects, overheard their exchange. He noticed the king’s generosity and favor on the gardener and so the next day, he brought one of his choice horses before the king as a gift. The king, putting together what had happened, took the gift from the breeder saying, “thank you.” Turning to leave, the king was interrupted by the breeder who said, “o king, but what about the favor you had on the gardener?” the king turning to look at the breeder said, “Ah yes, that gardener gave his carrot to me, but you have given this horse to yourself.”
What are you doing for God that you are really doing for yourself/recognition/acceptance/etc?