Posted in Irony, Story

In Search of True Riches

Two brothers each standing a different wallet

Two brothers Valiant and Conrad inherited a large fortune from their father who passed away. Valiant had dedicated his life to God and wanted to please Jesus Christ His Lord and Savior. Conrad was an intellectual genius and constantly ridiculed his brother for his Christian beliefs.

Conrad lived for himself. He figured wealth was his ticket to happiness and always believed his brains would enable him to amass an even greater fortune than his father. He had principles he operated under and he was going to show his brother Valiant how really far off he was.

Conrad figured pursuing happiness is and always will be the number one most important part of the American Dream. So he carefully invested his money in the stock market according to some of the world’s renowned financial analysts. He began acquiring many things. He bought a big house with servants, sporty cars, the latest technological gadgets, and the nicest of home furnishings.

He then sat down to evaluate how he felt. He still didn’t feel happy. In fact, he was unhappy with his servants because they made too many mistakes and didn’t do everything exactly the way he expected. The operating expenses for his house were outrageous and much more than his home designer had let on. He was quite frankly pretty mad at almost everyone and was definitely not happy.
Conrad met his brother Valiant for lunch. Conrad figured with all the transitional changes going on, his brother Valiant would be at least, if not more, miserable than he. But as it turned out, Valiant was beaming with joy. He had opened up a foundation. He was reaching out to a multitude of ministries and was helping the poor get back on their feet.

Both brothers exchanged pictures of their homes.

Conrad thought to himself, my brother’s home is nice and clean. But it is more geared to being excellent in organization and function than having an elaborate display of eloquence, wealth, and power as my own home.

He chuckled to himself, my home, cars, and toys far exceed my brothers. Yet how could Valiant be so joyful and full of peace?

Conrad went back home to his big, beautiful house and pondered what he was missing in his pursuit of happiness. It must be relationships, he decided. I’ll not marry, but acquire a harem of beautiful women to have as dating relationships.

He figured surely with all the money he had, the women would come running. Well he did get women, but they always seemed to want something from him and were just as unsatisfied as he was. He still felt empty.

Conrad decided to create his own company. He figured that would make him happy because then he would be contributing toward the betterment of all mankind as well as lining his pocket. That had to be it. After all, that was probably why Valiant was so happy, he thought to himself.

Conrad developed a technology company producing high-end computer parts. He did very well. He had always heard fear was the greatest motivator so he constantly terrorized his employees into making more in a shorter period of time. He stated, “Rewards are a waste of time and money.”

To show his employees that he appreciated them he put together a “let’s eat, be merry, and get drunk party” during Christmastime. The only problem was that some of his irresponsible employees got into car accidents because they were drunk. And then the cops arrested them. That was a real hit on productivity.

Conrad always stated, “Make it inferior, but not defective.” He counseled His employees to learn to deflect suspicion onto other computer manufacturers. Always state, “we have extensive checklists and follow industry standards to prove it.”

In Conrads’ final days he had a stroke and lay partially paralyzed on his bed. He had the best of everything. However, since his health had gone, he couldn’t enjoy any of it.

He had only a few friends because he was always insulting people – in fun – of course, accusing them of some fault, and was constantly getting angry with someone for something they hadn’t done yet. He ordered a multitude of servants around like they were robots and wondered why, after all he paid them, they weren’t happy to see him and visit with him.

“Well brother,” said Conrad. “I guess I won and achieved my goals.

“How’s that?” asked Valiant.

“Well, look at all my toys. Just look at my magnificent and beautiful home. Look at my cars and servants just waiting on me hand and foot. I got what I wanted.”

“And what’s that?” stated Valiant. “Happiness, of course. This must be happiness,” responded Conrad.

Valiant peered into his brother’s lonely eyes, “Did you really get happiness? Or just momentary times of pleasure?”

Conrad looked back into Valiant’s eyes, peering down at him with such a glimmer of love and joy that his heart melted, “No brother, you win. I have honestly never been so miserable. What’s your secret? I’ll get my secretary to come in and write it all down.”

Valiant looked back into his brother’s eyes which now expressed his utter brokenness, “It is simply to have a covenant relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, where you really understand and receive His intense love, mercy, and forgiveness won for you by His sacrifice on the cross. You see, the Bible tells us that there is no life in the abundance of things and lust never satisfies. It is God who wants to fill the void of your life and have a personal relationship with you.”

Conrad replied, “Really brother? You mean it’s been staring me right in the face all along?”

Valiant said, “Yes it has. And by the way, the riches God has for His people – far exceed whatever you can possess on this earth and they are eternal. They will not waste away.

“Yes, I want these true riches.” Conrad had tears in his eyes.

Valiant said, “Conrad please close your eyes and pray with me.

Father God, I have sinned. I’ve fallen short by going my own way instead of following after you. Please forgive me for all my sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Jesus, I believe you died on the cross and rose again—paying the price for all my sins. I receive you Jesus Christ, now come into my heart and life as my Lord and Savior. Thank you Lord, Amen!”

“Thank you Valiant for not giving up on me. For once I understand where true riches are found – in having a love relationship with God Himself. In Him is fullness of joy and all good things. Now I finally feel the happiest I’ve ever felt.”

Conrad’s face shone with joy.

Valiant replied, “It’s the joy of the Lord. Happiness is based on momentary happenstances of pleasure. But God’s joy is found as you remain in His presence (see Psalm 16:11). Just continually feast on His love and His words which are found in the Bible.

Keep your eyes on Him. God loves you! He has a plan and purpose for you (see Jeremiah 29:11). He will never leave you nor forsake you (see Deuteronomy 31:6).”

- Bruce Koch

Bruce Koch is president of Gospel Tramway. He is an author, intercessor, chaplain, pastor, teacher and preacher of God’s word. He resides in San Marcos, Texas with his wife Sherry and son Ethan.

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