The Parable of the Carpenter 711.4

A master carpenter who worked for the same builder for nearly 50 years announced he wanted to retire. The builder told him how much he appreciated his work. He gave the carpenter a $5,000 bonus and asked him if he would build just one more house. The builder owned a magnificent lot with a spectacular view, and he wanted to build a dream home.

The carpenter was bitterly disappointed at the small bonus, but his last building fee would help him buy a small cottage, so he agreed to build the dream house.

The carpenter prided himself on his uncompromising commitment to quality, but his resentment caused him to cut corners, ignore details, and accept shoddy workmanship from other workers. He even looked the other way when some of them substituted cheaper materials and pocketed the difference.

When the house was finished, the builder shook the carpenter’s hand, and with a huge smile gave him an envelope with a thank-you card and a folded piece of paper. The carpenter was disdainful – until he unfolded the paper and found the deed to the house he had just built.

The carpenter was ashamed that he had misjudged his old friend and betrayed his own values, and he was remorseful that the house he would live in for the rest of his life was made so carelessly.

Our character is the house we live in and it’s built piece by piece by our daily choices. Deceit, irresponsibility, and disrespect are just like shoddy workmanship. Whenever we put in less than our best and ignore our potential for excellence, we create a future full of creaky floors, leaky roofs, and crumbling foundations.

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.

Comments 9

  1. In every charcter that you have come up like little peices like if your biulding a house. If you have the right character traits for yourself your building will look nice. But if you have very bad charcter traits that you might have for yourself well your building might as well fall to the ground. So you might as well pick the right charcter traits for yourself so you can succeed in life.

  2. Thank you for your labour of love; many blessings to you.
    Honesty is still the best policy and this proves once again the only person we hurt is self. Anger and mal-content are bitter, poisonious herbs.

  3. This cuts to the heart of our society. If everyone gives a 100% effort to our community, we could achieve amazing results. Pride in output should be everyone’s goal. “To thine ownself be true!”

  4. This is a beautiful story….this is the problem with America today…we no longer take pride in what we do nor do we give 100 % yet we still expect the big payday…if we all just took a little pride in our lives be it work or just helping a friend …the reward is greater than any dollar amount…

  5. Thank you, Mr. Josephson, for all the little stories you bring to us each day. I used to listen to you every morning while driving to school at LATTC several years ago and each one really touched my heart. I saved them all but lost them when I switched emails and lost my account on AOL. I hope to collect them once again starting with this one. This one is tremendous and speaks volumes about one’s character. I do my best with every task, no matter how small and gain joy in every completion.

  6. Thank you for a great story!! One that I will definitely pass along to my children and those whom I love and believe will receive it!

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