Tootsie Pops vs. Suckers

Daily Post: Lollipop


I’ve only had a couple of cavities in my life, and those when I was very young.  While I don’t adhere to the strictest calendar regarding Dentist visits, I’m confident from the last time I was in the hot-seat that I inherited the good teeth gene.  I rarely have that many sweets at one time, and I haven’t had a lollipop or tootsie pop since my twenties.  That’s over 40 years for those who don’t know me well.

Mostly I associate suckers with going to a Doctor (not a Dentist) and getting a treat when the appointment went well, meaning I didn’t cry, whine, or complain when I got a shot.  On the other hand, tootsie pops were my absolute favorite for awhile, because I loved the tootsie roll chocolate center when all the hard candy coating was licked off.  To this day I still like tootsie rolls although you won’t find any in my cupboards.

According to a Daily News 2011 article “Halloween candy is delicious, but lollipops and sticky taffy bars are the worst for your teeth.”  The author of the article says “Fruit is better than candy any time, but try telling that to a child!”  Apparently the worst candies for anyone are taffy and other candies filled with caramel, coconut or nuts, and a close second would be hard candies like lollipops and jawbreakers.

Why would someone desire to consume something so obviously harmful to the health of one’s teeth?  That answer is not as hard to come up with as you might think.  In fact this answer is as old as human history.  When the first couple were given instructions on what they could consume for food from the garden, there was only one restriction from the Creator.

Genesis 2:16-17
The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.

Along comes the tempter and convinces this couple that God really doesn’t mean they die, and besides that fruit is so good, God is just keeping it all to himself.  It’s good to look at, to smell, to touch, and to taste… so go ahead… you know you want to.  Regardless of what any parent says to their child at Halloween, these are the same words the child hears, when it comes to that stash of candy they just hoarded from the neighborhood.  So who’s to blame for all the cavities?  The kids?  The candy-makers?  The parents?  The Tempter?  God, because He let someone make the candy?  You see the problem?

Ultimately, if children don’t learn to control their urges, desires, or drives, the consumption of sugar, (or worse), could have disastrous results on their teeth, or health, or both.  Is there a simple lesson here?

What if tootsie tolls and lollipops are symbolic of more pressing adult issues which tempt our minds and hearts today?  Paul wrote about three things which have the power to destroy the human existence, from which we must keep constant awareness.

1 John 2:16
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

James 1:13-16
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.  But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.  Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.  Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

Everything today that stands against the will of God in your life falls into one of three categories (according to John):  lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and boastful pride of life.  These are the three areas which the Tempter will attack you.  Every test that comes your way looks, feels and tastes like a candy treat… but will destroy you if you are not careful.  James says when you give in, committed to the temptation in action (sin), the result is death.

So… when the Tempter offers you lollipops… just say “no.”

It really is that simple.


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