The Harmless Root Beer Float
“That sounds refreshing!” Yuri was looking at me with raised eyebrows in that curious way one does when about to ask a question. “Shall we?” she asked.
I nodded my head as we stepped up to the makeshift serving table. We’d dashed into Safeway on a hot summer’s day, and a float sounded reviving indeed.
“Oh my,” Yuri said as the lady poured 12 ounces of soda into a cup. Again I nodded my head in agreement; this was the largest sample I’d ever seen.
In went the scoop of ice cream, and the woman extended the drink to me.
“Thank you,” I said, and that’s when everything became awkward.
Why is she staring at me so? I wondered. Does she expect Yuri and me to share? That’s an odd way to give out samples. She should just make her portions smaller and give everybody their own float.
“That’ll be two dollars,” the woman said, and she wasn’t at all smiley now.
At that precise moment, both Yuri and I noticed the 8 ½ x 11 sign written in blue marker and taped to the front edge of the table.
Support the PTA
Root Beer Floats – $2
Trying to act like I’d known all along, I dove into my purse and produced two, one-dollar bills, thankful I actually had $2 in my purse.
As soon as the money was handed over, the woman became cheerful again.
“How about you,” she addressed Yuri, “would you like a float?”
“Oh, I think we’ll share,” she said.
As we wandered through the store, Yuri and I reenacted the event punctuating it with frequent outbursts of laughter.
“Would you like a root beer float?” Yuri asked me.
“Oh my, what generous sample sizes,” I responded.
Somehow we felt tricked into buying that treat with the obscure little sign posted below eye level and the seemingly happy lady distracting us from reading it.
When we’d seen the root beer and ice cream, we never thought there’d be a price to pay.
Many false religions are the same way. Tantalizing with promises of happiness and wealth, the truth is disguised until an unsuspecting person steps forward. Once they’ve started down the path, the price of getting out seems too high.
II Corinthians 11:13-14 warns of this type of behavior. “For such are false prophets, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ, and no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”
The sign was there telling us the floats were $2, but we hadn’t looked hard enough. The indications are there for false prophets as well, but one must heed the signs.
How do you remain vigilant?
- Pray and ask God for discernment. (Oops, haven’t done this in a while.)
- Study your Bible. (This goes beyond devotional reading.)
- Surround yourself with godly people who also pray and study. (Involvement in a solid church helps with this assignment.)
- Question what your pastor and other leaders tell you? (You don’t have to question out loud unless your study leads you to believe a real mistake has been made. Remember to be gracious.)
(Numbers 1 – 4 sound pretty obvious, but a lot of people don’t follow them.)
5. Here’s a final but important point. Don’t get caught up in rhetoric. (Many people emphatically insist they believe the Bible but have not bothered to study its content. They rant and rave about abounding evils and come up with rules nowhere to be found in the Bible. Although they seem grounded, they are actually riding on the tide of someone else’s energy and opinions. People who exhibit this behavior are often easily misled.)
Paying for a two dollar float isn’t a big deal. Following false doctrine is because your effectiveness for God will be destroyed. Beware, Satan would like nothing better than to compromise your witness for God.