This short story is taken from The Pearl by Angela Hunt:
“There was once a king who had three sons. He also had one ring of pure gold. Concerned about rivalry among his sons after his death, he had two rings fashioned from false gold and upon his deathbed, he ordered his wise men to give the three rings to his sons. Calling his sons near, he told them the truth: one ring was real, two were false, but the person with the pure ring would always be kind, good, and blessed of God…
All three sons strove to be kind and good because each of them wanted the people to believe he had been blessed with the real ring.
…Anyone who practices good will be regarded as good by those who can’t see the secrets of the human heart … But all the good in the world won’t change the truth — only one son had the real ring. The other two were living a lie. Think about it.”
The Parable of the Pearl of Great Price
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, 46 who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.