Once there was a wealthy business man who passed away. People knew him as an upright entrepreneur, a leader who served in a mid-level political role, and a man of character. He was well loved and it was expected that many would attend his funeral and speak of his kindness to others, his generous gifts to the poor, and the grace with which he served and cared for his family.
The entrepreneur had left a will that contained instructions for his own funeral. In those instructions he asked that six specific people be given the honour and responsibility of carrying his casket and speaking of him at his funeral. People were surprised to see who the business man had chosen to fulfill this role as pall-bearers.
The first pall-bearer was a man who had sued him in a business deal. This same pall-bearer had many arguments with other business people and had sued or threatened to sue others. He was known as an unscrupulous dealer. Another pall-bearer was a woman who had accused the deceased man as the father of her child hoping for financial gain. Her case had been proven to be unfounded. A third pall-bearer had been a political rival who had mounted an extreme campaign against the business man in a bid to discredit and unseat the business man in a particular election. And so it went, each pall-bearer was found to be someone who had a disagreement with or had spoken publicly against the deceased man.
A large crowd gathered at the funeral to see what these enemies of the man would say at his funeral. Each pall-bearer came forward and struggled with something to say. All could tell that they were uncomfortable with the situation and had little they could say either for or against the man. The lawyer for the deceased business man was then instructed to read a statement the man had prepared before his death. In it the business man said, that it was his desire that half of his wealth be given to the poor and if anyone felt that he had cheated anyone in any of his business or personal dealings then that person should be paid back four times the amount they had been cheated. No one came forward with an accusation but it was noted that several of the pall-bearers went and settled arguments and debts they had with other people in the community. The people of the community organized their own tribute to the deceased entrepreneur and people came forward and spoke for many hours regarding the character and love of this man. And so it is that we shall be known by our deeds toward our enemies.