I posted this devotional at Exemplify Online this week.
“Test everything. Hold on to the good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21)
With hot coffee in hand I looked for the amenities to make my java light and sweet just the way I like it. Hmm, let’s see…sugar, milk, fat-free half and half. Fat-free half and half?! I scratched my head in confusion. How can this be?
Just as its name suggests, half and half contains two ingredients, milk and cream. Half of one, half of the other. That’s why it’s so creamy and delicious—and fattening. It simply cannot be low fat.
But the impostor creamer looked like half and half, it smelled like half and half, and the package said it actually was half and half.
So it must be. Right?
Well, a close look at the label reveals quite a concoction of ingredients—nonfat milk, corn syrup, cream, artificial color, sodium citrate, dipotassium phosphate, mono & diglycerides, carrageenan, vitamin A palmitate.
This product doesn’t come from a cow, it comes from a chemist.
To add to the confusion, the authentic half and half's packaging now bears the moniker, “Traditional.” As in old fashioned, out-dated, old school. As in “Puh-leez, full-fat half and half is so 2005!”
As the food we eat gets further from the earth and closer to the laboratory we must watch for linguistic trickery, false claims and empty promises. Grocery store shelves overflow with products that masquerade as something they’re not.
The same can be said about spiritual “products” that fill the airwaves, line bookshelves, populate our culture and even invade our churches. They sound like truth and look like truth. They come adorned in respectable packaging and mimic the real thing.
We’re captivated by me-centered, wealth-motivated or comfort-driven messages that offer all of the benefits and none of the pesky drawbacks of Christianity—like submission, obedience and selflessness. “Puh-leez, meekness is so old-school." Subtly and overtly we're told, "The Bible's great, but it's so old. We need new thinking for our lives today."
Something nudges our insides and we wonder, How can this be?
Jesus warned us to be on guard for such trickery, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.” (Matthew 7:15-16) We can be thankful we have a standard that was, is and always will be our pathway to unchanging, eternal truth. When we hold up the impostors to the Word of God, we unmask them for what they are—foolishness, deceit and lies.
Biblical truth may evade our understanding, challenge our preconceived notions and make us squirm but once we’ve tasted and seen that the Lord is good, no imitation can satisfy. And God’s Word isn’t just good for our hearts, it’s naturally 100% fat free.
I wish I could say the same about my favorite coffee creamer!