"He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love". 1 John 4:8
In an experiment to find a substitute for milk I bought soy milk. I couldn't stand the taste of it so it was given to the cats. The first cat started lapping on it and stopped suddenly with her tongue going in and out like she was trying to get rid of the taste. None of the other cats liked it either, but I laughed and laughed at their reaction. They knew the taste of real milk and weren't about to settle for anything less.
Despite the claims of the product, my taste buds knew the difference.
Another way to be healthier is my quest to stop drinking my favorite soft drink as I was drinking more and more each day. Although I knew drinking water was the best alternative, I started drinking sweet tea.
Each drink was full of sugar so I decided to make the transition to a sugar substitute that claims you can't taste the difference. Of course I could tell the difference.
Years ago, a certain soft drink made the claim that they were "the real thing." I often wondered what the real thing was and compared to what? Who made that claim and was it really true?
In our world today there are so many things that claim to be real and are just poor substitutes or right out counterfeits. I love to watch "Antiques Roadshow" to see real antiques but once in a while these poor people find out that their treasures are not only fake, but were created to deceive people. Even certificates of authenticity aren't an assurance that the item is real. An item needs to be examined by an expert to determine if it is real.
Take for example counterfeit money. Do you know how to tell if it is real or not? I was told that people who handle money all the time can tell it is real by the feel of it. Rarely do these experts need to rely on other ways of testing because they are so familiar with the real thing.
With all this said, I come to the subject of Christians. Are they authentic or are they just playing the role? There are many ways to tell because a true Christian will exhibit the fruit of the spirit described in Galatians 5:22-23. The very first one mentioned is love. Do we truly love people or do we just go through the motions? John spoke about this, "And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another…" (1 John 3:23)
All of this hit home this week through our Bible Study and something that happened. Someone was trying to prove how much their family loved each other, but their actions showed the opposite. The same is true in our churches where people talk about love, but then get mad and stay mad at each other. If we are going to talk about love, then we need to show it. Let's not only talk about it, let's show we are the real thing.
Debra Whittington is a longtime resident of Tucumcari. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org