Story – Successful Successor

An emperor had no children. He decided to select a suitable successor to his throne from the boys of his empire. He proclaimed that the interested boys should assemble in the palace in the morning on a specified date. When the boys arrived, he said, “There is a simple test for you. I will give a seed to each of you. You must take it home and carefully plant it in a pot. Tend it giving all possible care and bring the pot to me at the same time next year. I will examine the pots and adopt the one I choose as my successor to the throne of this vast empire.”

The boys carried the seeds home and planted them. One of the boys found that his seed did not sprout even though he gave all possible care. He continued to tend the pot and water it daily, but could not get any result. The others tended their plantlets with the utmost care and grew beautiful and healthy plants in their pots.  Some of their plants developed buds and flowers.

After one year, all the boys reached the palace to proudly display the result of their sustained effort. The poor boy alone sat there without any plant to display. The emperor examined each pot and returned to his throne. He summoned the boy who could not grow the plant to come near him. The other boys laughed at the poor boy who was holding his barren pot. The king stood up and declared, “I had given each of you a seed after cooking it by prolonged and vigorous boiling in water to destroy its viability and to assure that it would not grow at all. But all of you, except this honest young man, have managed to raise plants using your own seeds to impress me and gain the throne by fraudulent means. Honesty, truthfulness, courage, and integrity are the qualities I expected in my successor. Only this boy has succeeded in the test. Hence, I proclaim that he shall be my successor.” The emperor embraced the boy. The other boys left the scene in shame.

It is a good rule that we should be faithful and truthful in every action—both big and small. A true Christian should not tell a lie even if telling the truth may cause loss, suffering, or pain. We should not tell a lie even if telling the lie may give us money, power, or pleasure. The apostle Paul advises, “Put away lying, and speak truthfully to your neighbor, because we are all members together in the body of Christ.” Ephesians 4:25. Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

The Bible reminds us, “The Lord sees everything you do, and He watches where you go.” Proverbs 5:21. “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on those who are evil and those who are good.” Proverbs 15:3