This blog, and the story therein, will test your DQ IQ. I must admit to loving Dairy Queen ice cream. I can tell you the branches (within 100 miles or so) that have the correct mix, informed employees and the best pecans. It is a gift (or curse) for sure. I heard a story the other day that reminded me of the source of some of our societal issues. A woman went to DQ to get a Mr. Misty float. You might know that the Mr. Misty comes in a slushy (like an icee), a freeze (ice cream mixed in) or a float (with a blob of ice cream in the drink). The woman ordered a cherry Mr. Misty float, but when she got her order they gave her a freeze. She politely said, "I ordered a float." They replied, "We don't have cherry Mr. Misty floats." The woman proceeded to explain that in order to make a freeze, the drink had to go through the phase of being a float. Ten minutes later, they had told her repeatedly of the impossibility of her order. While the actual story was a bit more involved, you get the point. The girl at the window was unwilling to see the actual truth of how the drink was made, unwilling to consider that she could be wrong and unwilling to budge on something that was totally unimportant in the scheme of life.
I tell you this story because I find people every day who are much more focused on being right, having 'their' rights, and standing up for who-knows-what, than they are at looking at empirical truth. Paul had a similar situation with the Galatians.
The people of Galatia have been given the truth of the Gospel, the grace of the Cross, the training of Paul and the blessing of adoption into the family of God. Paul has reminded them that while they are children of God (last week's blog) children are expected to grow up into young men and women who have inherited the Kingdom of God and live in that Kingdom. Paul is perplexed ... "Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?" (4:16)
The woman in the story has become an adversary of the DQ employee because she has told her the truth. Paul has become the adversary of the Galatians because he is telling the truth. Many preachers pass on truth to their people, but the people only want what they desire to hear ... anger ... "we are victims!" ... "we must find some people to fight over our issues!" ... "the (fill in the blank) are the enemies of God!" Did you know that a large block (at least 1/4) of each political party believes that if the other party's candidate gets elected, our nation will be destroyed?
The solution for the DQ employee ... the solution for our Church ... the solution for the nation ... the solution for the people of God ... is pretty simple. First, seek truth. Learn the facts. How a Mr. Misty float is made. What Jesus said, as opposed to what some charismatic person has told you Jesus said. The truth about the issues that are important to you ... not what you are fed through Facebook, Google, CNN, Fox, MSNBC. It is harder work to look for the truth, but if you look at Jesus and what He said and what He did, you can find truth. "Seek and you shall find ... knock and the door will be opened," Jesus said in (Matthew 7:7).
Second, trust what God says more than you trust those other sources I just listed. "Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. They want to alienate you from us so that you may have zeal for them (Galatians 4:17)." I have never, in my years of preaching, met so many people who want to win others over for ill-intended purposes. People post things they would never say in person. People repost ridiculous arguments without a thought, because it was something that affirmed their political, social or religious perspective. Can we all step back and realize there is only one perspective that should be our test of truth worth trusting? God's truth! In the words of the old song, "God's truth abideth still, His kingdom is forever!"
Let's end this on a positive. God is worth knowing, and God wants to be known. God is worth trusting, and God wants us to trust Him. God (His word in the Bible) is the place where we can all go for consistent truth that works if we will just apply it. And that's the truth! Randy