A strange dog came to a preacher’s house, and his three sons soon became quite fond of it. It so happened that there were three white hairs in the animal’s tail. One day an advertisement was seen in the newspaper about a lost dog which fitted that description perfectly. “In the presence of my three boys,” said the minister, “we carefully separated the three white hairs and removed them.” The real owner discovered where the straying canine had found a home and came to claim him. The dog showed every sign of recognition, so the man was ready to take him away.
Quickly the minister spoke up, “Didn’t you say the dog would be known by three white hairs in its tail?” The owner, unable to find the identifying feature, was forced to leave. The minister said later, “we kept the dog, but I lost my three boys for Christ.” His sons no longer had confidence in what their father professed. He hadn’t practiced what he preached.