“To prosper in sin is the greatest calamity that can befall a man this side of hell.”
- The Upside of Down, Joe Stowell, Moody, 1991, pp.186ff
A wealthy man went duck hunting with one of his employees named Sam, so the story goes. They took a horse and carriage, and on the a rim came off one of the wheels. As Sam hammered it back on, he accidentally hit his finger and let go with some bad words. He quickly fell to his knees, asking Gods forgiveness, “Lord, its so difficult at times to live the Christian life,” he prayed.
Sam” said his boss, “I know youre a Christian. But tell me, why do you struggle so? Im an atheist, and I dont have problems like that.”
Sam was silent. Just then two ducks flew overhead. The boss raised his gun and two shots rang out. “Leave the dead one and go after that wounded bird,” he shouted. Sam pointed at the duck that was fluttering desperately to escape and said, “Ive got an answer for you now, Boss. You implied that my Christianity isnt any good because I have to struggle so. Well, Im the wounded duck, and I struggle to get away from the devil. But Boss, youre the dead duck!”
The story is told of a farmer in a Midwestern state who had a strong disdain for “religious” things. As he plowed his field on Sunday morning, he would shake his fist at the church people who passed by on their way to worship. October came and the farmer had his finest crop everthe best in the entire county. When the harvest was complete, he placed an advertisement in the local paper which belittled the Christians for their faith in God.
Near the end of his diatribe he wrote, “Faith in God must not mean much if someone like me can prosper.” The response from the Christians in the community was quiet and polite. In the next edition of the town paper, a small ad appeared. It read simply, “God doesnt always settle His accounts in October.”
- Joseph Stowell, Through The Fire, Victor Books, 1988, pp. 133ff