A discussion ensued in our household this morning after I was asked a question about my tea: “Mom, are the flavors in tea real?”
I like to drink tea, and I also like to drink coffee. Not all teas and coffees appeal to me, though. I like REAL flavors.
I explained to the boys that anytime one sees “artificial flavors” on a tin, bag, box or label, there are chemicals used to make that product. In defining “natural flavors,” I told them how I like to find products that are flavored with true flavors, too, and not just labeled with a natural derivative.
As an example, I told them how I’ll look for a tea with “orange peel” or “vanilla bean” or “hibiscus flowers” in the ingredient list, rather than “natural vanilla flavor,” which may really not be from nature at all. We also talked about how coffee can be flavored with spices, ground nuts or pure essential oils added on top of the grounds before brewing to have a real experience instead of grinding coffee beans that have been soaked in a lab-created substitute.
Artificial flavors have infiltrated a lot of our cupboards.
Artificial “flavors” have also infiltrated our parenting, our marriages, our laws, our doctrines, our morals, our thoughts and our faith.
So often today, we can see what God intended for good has been made bad, and what He intended for evil has been made good. (Isaiah 5:20a) Lines are so often blurred that we no longer know what is real, what is good, what is right, or even what is desired based on His Word. We, ourselves, often blur those lines even more by rationalizing what we see as accepted by the world serves as more of an authority to us than what is taught in the Word.
You know what? He calls us to be a natural flavor, not an artificial one, and he calls us to live IN this world as Believers, but to be cautious about being OF this world.
Time to drink a cuppa and study some more…