What Burger King can teach us about truth

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What Burger King can teach us about truth

June 14, 2017 -

Burger King has nearly doubled its profits in recent years. Its sales have grown by $4.2 billion; it opened 735 new restaurants worldwide last year. Who is responsible for such remarkable success? One of the youngest restaurant CEOs in history.

Daniel Schwartz was thirty-two years old when he took over the fast-food chain four years ago. He worked the broiler, assembled sandwiches, took customer orders, and even scrubbed toilets and washed the floors. Along the way, he discovered that Burger King’s menu needed to be simplified greatly and that corporate expenses were far too high.

Though his home is in Miami, he spends most of his time traveling. “I literally live on American Airlines’ 737 commercial airplane,” he told a reporter. The reason: “I believe in MWA—management by walking around—so I spend as much time as possible traveling and visiting franchise partners. You only learn by walking around and meeting people.”

Shifting topics, Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday. He called the accusation that he participated in or was aware of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign a “detestable and appalling lie.”

Meanwhile, former NBA player Dennis Rodman is back in the news after returning to North Korea. The State Department has declared that he is not acting in any official capacity. Rodman tweeted, “I will discuss my mission upon my return to the USA.”

Daniel Schwartz has learned a lesson worth emphasizing today: we don’t know people until we know them. What you read or hear about a person is so seldom all the truth there is, if it is even true at all.

If the chief law enforcement officer of the United States must defend himself against what he calls “scurrilous and false accusations,” none of us should be surprised when we face allegations and criticism. If someone with Dennis Rodman’s unusual history (to put it kindly) can travel to a nation off-limits to most Americans, no one’s future can be predicted with certainty.

To take today’s theme a step further, not only can we not really know other people—we cannot truly know ourselves. Socrates believed the path to truth lay in the maxim, “Know thyself.” His assertion helped frame our culture’s belief that self-knowledge is both possible and essential.

Benjamin Franklin disagreed: “There are three Things extremely hard, Steel, a Diamond, and to know one’s self.” Scripture notes that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Here’s the answer to the question: “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds” (v. 10).

Before we claim to know each other and ourselves, we should first seek to know the One who knows us fully but loves us unconditionally. In his classic, Knowing God, J. I. Packer notes, “What makes life worthwhile is having a big enough objective, something which catches our imagination and lays hold of our allegiance, and this the Christian has in a way that no other person has. For what higher, more exalted, more compelling goal can there be than to know God?”

What makes your life worthwhile today?

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