Sugar Free

The Problem Is Sugar Free

Ed, my neighbor next door, likes syrup on his pancakes. He has even been known to have some Aunt Jemima syrup with his toast if Ruby is at work. The other day, Ed came to see if we had some syrup he could borrow. He was cooking supper since Ruby was working and it was going to be one of his special home-cooked meals of pancakes, sausages and scrambled eggs. Ed didn’t want Ruby to know he had been hitting the syrup bottle while she has been at work. Ed’s sweet tooth has caused him trouble with Ruby repeatedly through the years. There was only a teaspoon left in the syrup bottle.

Ed wanted to borrow some from us so he could fill his own syrup bottle to a more respectable level. Ed complained that our almost full bottle of Aunt Jemima was contaminated. It was 50% less calories or, according to Ed, a lite syrup disaster. Since we also had a Mrs. Butterworth’s sugar free syrup, I offered him that one instead. It had 90% fewer calories which really turned Ed frustrated. Of course, he wanted to know why we couldn’t eat regular syrup like normal people.

The only thing that seemed to be a solution was to have Ed do a taste test of the two bottles. He would have to decide which one tasted the most like his regular syrup. Ed tasted them, but couldn’t decide after a teaspoon of each. So, we went to a tablespoon of each. The verdict was he should borrow them both and add some of each to his bottle. According to Ed, it worked out good. Ed said he realized the lite and sugar free must be cheaper and they weren’t that bad for cheaper bottles of syrup. “Yeah, they are okay for us,” I said.

I sure can relate to Ed’s sweet tooth. Homemade fudge is something I have made often. I would still like to, but now sugar has become the enemy. I liked it better when I could claim a sweet tooth. It’s hard to believe chocolate bars are not healthy food. Cake, cookies, pies and brownies have questionable nutritional value. Is it really true suffering to do without them?

The Bible doesn’t talk about sweetness in terms of sugar, but honey. “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth.” God promised that He would lead his people to a land flowing with milk and honey. Honey was seen as a blessing as a natural food and a sweetener for other food. The prophet John the Baptist was described as eating locusts and wild honey as his food. The Bible cautions, “If you find honey, eat just enough–too much will make you vomit.”

Just enough is how God worked out our sweet salvation. We could not and cannot keep free of the invitingly sweet taste of sin. Jesus alone could live a sin-free life on our behalf. He alone, as God’s Son, was willing to pay the ransom of our sins with his own life and death on the cross. He paid it all, which was just enough before God. By faith in Jesus, we are also sin free before God.

 

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Raymond Maher
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