A Car or a Bible?

This fascinating story has a powerful impact on the way we live our lives. Don’t miss reading it. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible

How many blessings do we forfeit through selfish desires?
He unwrapped the graduation gift from his father expecting car keys. Instead, he found a Bible!

Enraged by his father's stinginess, the young man stormed from the house vowing never to return.

True to his word, the son never returned until his father died. Going through his father's belongings, he found the gift Bible and picked it up. A yellowed note fell from the pages:
“Son, as you graduate, my prayer is that you’ll always seek God’s purposes. Your new car is in the garage, but I wanted to give you this greater gift first. Love, your dad.”
By seeking his selfish goals, the son lost more than a car—he lost a relationship with his loving father.

The story is fictional, but the truth is an accurate illustration of our lives when we focus on our desires, not God's.

“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and [God] will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33

I heard this story years ago but have no way of attributing it to the original author.


I encourage you to check out the Wisdom for Life Devotional. It contains 100 one-minute devotions to challenge, encourage, instruct, and inspire your love for God's Word: Wisdom for Life. Read the story behind Wisdom for Life HERE. And find out about the two free Bible studies with purchase HERE. You can read the first 4 devotions in the book by clicking "look inside" on Lifeway or Amazon.
I also encourage you to sign up for a free subscription to Bible Love Notes and get a free e-booklet. Find out more HERE.

This fascinating story has a powerful impact on the way we live our lives. Don’t miss reading it.

This fascinating story has a powerful impact on the way we live our lives. Don’t miss reading it.


  1. Hey Gail! WOW! That I must say was the shortest post I have EVER read, but it was also the most POWERFUL! It caught my attention right off and made me cry. How true that scenario is! How many times have we passed up a greater blessing from God that would last a lifetime or eternity, for a worldly gift that is dooomed to pass away in a "season"? God Bless you,


  2. Thanks, PJ. The first time I heard this story (probably 30 years ago--can't remember where) I thought it was a powerful story. But there was no commentary with the story except to point out how selfish attitudes can hurt us. But I thought about it the other day and realized how fully it represents our relationship with God...funny how God brings things to your memory. Thanks for sharing your comment. Gail

  3. This is definitely a great story - Thanks so much for sharing it! It really does make me think about my priorities, and my relationship to my Heavenly Father! - Robin

  4. Hi Gail - ouch! is this not just the truth! Twice in the last day I have gotten angry over a seemingly unfair statement and then kept quiet and realized how selfish my anger was and how self-centred my desires were. So glad I kept quiet but that is not usually the norm. Praying for it to be so. Great post
    God bless
    ps: thank you for linking up - I so look forward to your being there again next week :)

  5. I was crying by the time I got to the part that said this story is fictional. Because I have seen people act that way. It is so heart-breaking to see someone lose a relationship over selfish desires.

    Thank you so much for sharing this touching story. Blessings to you.

  6. Why, oh why do we ever think that the God of the universe who loves us and died for us would ever withhold anything good? I am shamed whenever I doubt. "He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all, how will he not give us all things?" Thanks for this poignant reminder of God's love today. Hopping over from Be Not Weary ;)

  7. Hi Gail! Stunning wake up call. Thanks!

  8. I am hopping over from Pinterest. This is an all true story and I had also read it before and just as then it still makes me cry as I sit and think of what must have gone through that son's mind at the time. The heartache of the parents. The cries and prayers that must have gone up for the son.
    It just seems that the temptations are growing stronger as the things in this world grow shinier and shinier but in true comparison with Eternity with the Man who gave it all for Love it pales pitifully. I am just as guilty as everyone else getting caught up in the Shiny, but then when everything turns to Chaos in my Spirit and Soul and I have no peace I realize that I have spent too much time with the world and not enough time with my Father. I am trying to change that.

    1. It is a good wake up call, isn't it, Karen? And I think we all need to be reminded that it's not the "shiny" things that matter in life.
      God bless you,

  9. Thank You. I don't know how I found your 1-Minute Bible Love Notes, but I know in my heart that it was God. Ms. Gail you are a blessing!

  10. I Ran across this post yesterday when I was searching for a way to make Matthew 6:33 relevant for Youth Group. The fact that the son's selfish desires caused him to miss out on a relationship with his earthly father and based on the fact that he still had unforgiveness in his heart toward his dad, shows that he may have missed out on a relationship with his Heavenly Father also. These 2 losses far outweigh the joy of any car that he could have ever received. We must seek God first. God over everything. I pray that I pray that the youth were impacted by the message. I know I was.
    Thank you.

    Carol Sullivan

    1. Great insights, Carol.
      I pray it was a helpful lesson for the youth.