“A woman came out of her house and saw three old men sitting in front of her house. She did not recognize them but decided to be hospitable anyway. She said, ‘I don’t think I know you, but you must be hungry. Please come in and have something to eat.’ ‘Is the man of the house home?’ they asked. ‘No”, she said. “He’s out’ ‘Then we cannot come in,’ they replied.
“Later that evening when her husband came home, the wife told him what had happened. ‘Go tell them I am home and invite them in.’ The woman went out and invited the men in, ‘We don’t go into a house together,’ they replied. “Why is that?” she asked. One of the old men explained: ‘His name is Wealth,’ one man said pointing to his friend, “and he is Success and I am Love. Now go in and discuss with your husband which one of us you want in your home.’
“The woman went in and told her husband what was said. Her husband was overjoyed, ‘Let’s invite Wealth in so he can come and fill our home with wealth.’ His wife disagreed, ‘My dear, why don’t we invite Success instead.’ Their daughter-in-law was listening from the other corner of the house. She jumped in with her own suggestion: ‘Would it not be better to invite Love so our home will be filled with love.’
The husband and wife decided she was right. The woman went out and asked Love to come in to be their guest. Love got up and started walking toward the house, and the other two also got up and followed him. Surprised, the lady asked, ‘We only invited Love, why are you all coming in?’ The old men replied together: ‘If you had invited Wealth or Success the other two of us would’ve stayed out. Since you invited in Love, wherever he goes we go with him. Wherever there is love there is also wealth and success’” (Tim Shen Illustrations).
In a sense, we all have a similar choice to make. No, we don’t have three men sitting outside our homes, but we do choose which path to take. Many choose the path of wealth and soon find it doesn’t bring true value to life (Ecclesiastes 5:10). Others choose success and come to a similar conclusion (Ecclesiastes 2:1-11). Those who choose love will indeed find both wealth and success, but not necessarily in a physical, material sense. This love can result in a spiritually rich and meaningful life.
Being loving people is all well and good. However, if our love is missing God, it is missing the richest and deepest level of love. When we love God, we obey His commands (John 14:15). When we obey His command, every relationship (Ephesians 5-6), every decision (Psalm 1:1-3), and every part of life will be infinitely better and more fulfilling (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
God has never promised worldly wealth and success by loving Him. Let’s make no mistake, though, a life dedicated to loving God and each other will lead to the most spiritually rich, successful, and wonderful life both here and in eternity (John 10:10).