The Carpenter Story

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer/contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by.

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate
way to end his career.

When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.”

What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well.

So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we have built. If we had realized, we would have done it differently.

Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely. It is the only life you will ever build. Even if you live it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity. The plaque on the wall says, “Life is a do-it-yourself project.”

Who could say it more clearly? Your life today is the result of your attitudes and choices in the past. Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today.

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85 Responses to “The Carpenter Story”

  1. Tom Polackal says:

    This story is so true to life. It reminds me: it is what we give that we get. tom

  2. K. Chakraborty says:

    It is real story one should learn about it

  3. Jayr Ferrera says:

    What a beautiful story. Amazing

  4. This story is a masterpiece and it well deserves credit and I thank you for sending this to me.
    We learn by the mistakes we make, and day by day we learn.

  5. Richel F. Catan says:

    We should live our lives the best way we can. We can never go back to things we have wrongly done but we can learn from it and do the right thing.

  6. precious says:

    great more than inspired today…God bless you

  7. joel says:

    We should do least things today that seem we might regret tomorrow… “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Cor.10:31)

  8. tammy says:

    this is so true, and so many dont even know it tell the end.We all struggle with this at times we just have to remmber whos in control of are lives, and is it please God.

  9. THE SMALL THING says:


  10. sharon says:

    This is so very true. And as I think of all the mistakes that I have made, I just continue to live my life for Jesus. And I can live this way because I know of the great gift of forgiveness that I have received.

  11. Veerendra Dhiman says:

    I only hope that this little tale delivers the message it was designed to deliver. It is through these parables that we truly comprehend the mysteries of life. Way to live our lives is best explained through illustrations such as these. Personally I loved this parable as it set my mind analysing the life I was living and how could I apply course correction to change my life to align it with the message it set out to convey.

  12. walter c murray says:

    i just open my e-mail and can too this story about the carpenter story,and it can right on time.
    Because iam getting ready to Retire and i want to be just as responsble when i leave and when i started.
    Thank u, so true,so please Pray for me and My Family.

  13. cynthia says:

    We must try to do the best we can, whether we are doing for oneself or others. Always try to do the very best for others and for the glory of God.

  14. A simple analogy but very apt.What we give comes back to us.If this giving is-love,what you would receive in return is- love.

  15. Shripad says:

    I have read in the teachings of Lord Krishna that any act you do honestly, sincerely & with sense of dedication, that reaches the feet of Krishna. That gets devoted to him & acknowledged by Him. The moral of carpenter story resembles these words of wisdom.

  16. Wardhani says:

    A very true situation … You will receive what you give… I’m going to share the story with my kids and everyone I love… so that they can avoid the “carpenter attitude”…, instead we give only the best!

  17. Almaz says:

    Whatever you do in life do it for the glory of God. He knows what we do there is nothing hidden from the Lord. Thank you for sharing that, God bless.

  18. Gregoria says:

    I love it. It is very true, we are the ones building our own lives. It is up to us how to prepare the kind of life that we want to live.

  19. Crystal says:

    It is great it is so true the lives that we build are up to us and it all about choices on to prepare for the future and what kind of life we want.

  20. Jennifer Dsilva says:

    The story of the carpenter is very true. Whatever action we do has an equal reaction on us. We should sow well to reap a good and healthy harvest. Forget the past sowing and star afresh we will definitely have a plentiful and peaceful harvest. Praise and thank God at all times.

  21. sunitha says:

    A very good story We need to remember that are we pleasing God or man or self

    God bless

  22. irene chiku says:

    its a shame of how at times we do take things for granted just to please others not knowing that is how we portrate who we are .oh GOD teach as to know our possition

  23. This story is so true, because I’ll never forget that whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

  24. Ritu says:

    Absolutely Moving…….the global warming,climatic changes, the unhappiness in our personal lives are all our own attitudes towards our lives and existence.

  25. Linda Beeler says:

    It is so easy to become lazy and not do things as good as you should or could, especially if you have an unreasonable boss.

  26. Emetere Gloria says:


  27. Mildred Ndeti says:

    It is very true. It is written that we do unto others what we would want them to do unto us.We should strife to end well.It matters most. God bless you for sharing this story.

  28. Darnell says:

    Awsome, this speaks volume to me and hope many others about how we view life.

  29. Spoorthy says:

    This is a very good story which will help us to change our attitude.We should always do good to others.

  30. Ronald Hogan says:

    What a great story to life

  31. Ronald Hogan says:

    What a great story for us all to live by. As the saying goes: :We reap what we sow.”
    Thank you for this story. I too, was one time a carpenter. Cannot remember, if I did any shoddy work?

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