Chuck Terrill: Eyes wide open

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

A young man went door to door in the one block long, small town business district. He was desperate to find a summer job in a time when jobs were hard to find. He walked into a men’s clothing store and spoke to the salesman.

“I’m the owner and the only salesman,” the man told the boy. “I had an employee many years ago, but few people shop on Main Street anymore. See that suit?” The man pointed to a very ugly polyester leisure suit. It had obviously been out of style for ages.  

“That suit has been hanging there for at least twenty years. I have shown it a hundred times. No one wants it. I usually lock up for lunch, but I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I’ll leave you in charge for the next hour. If you sell that ugly suit, at any price, while I’m gone, you have yourself a job.” 

“It’s a deal!” the young man said.   

When the owner of the store came back from lunch, the young man was beaming from ear to ear, and the ugly suit was gone! 

“I am absolutely amazed!” said the proprietor. “How much did you get for it?” 

“Twenty bucks!” came the reply. 

“How did you sell that old suit so quickly?” 

“It wasn’t that hard,” said the boy. “An elderly man walked by, I asked him, and he said he certainly would buy a new, durable, two-piece, suit for only twenty bucks!”

“But,” continued the boy, “His seeing eye dog nearly tore me apart!” 

It is risky to not examine everything carefully. It is a common experience to “buy into” and find out later that what you received was not what you bargained for. Of course, it’s no big deal if it’s a suit of clothes you’re buying. But, if you buy into a faulty, unexamined, religious system, that is something else, entirely.

John the Apostle warned his readers this way: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1). 

The Apostle Paul wrote it like this: “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron” (1 Timothy 4:1-2). 

We are living in the day of false prophets, deceiving spirits, and doctrines of demons.   

Keep your eyes wide open and don’t check your brains at the door.

Chuck Terrill, who has doctorates from Master Theological Seminary and Trinity Seminary, is the senior minister at First Christian Church in Cassville. He may be reached at 417-847-2460.