Beware of Cotton Candy

Beware of “Cotton Candy”

I remember the very first time I ever saw cotton candy. When I was very young the highlight of every year was the county fair in Huntsville, Alabama. Today when there is Disney World, Universal Studios and “Six Flags Over Everywhere,” it is hard for anyone to imagine just how special those “scary” rides were at the fair and how much I loved cotton candy!

Sin can be like cotton candy...

Sin can be like cotton candy…

I do not remember how old I was, but I vividly remember that stand which sold this new, amazingly sweet treat. I did not know that cotton candy had been introduced to the world at the 1904 World Fair in St. Louis and was called Fairy Floss. (No, I was not at that fair—not that old). At that fair, more than 68,000 boxes were sold for the equivalent of six dollars in today’s money. I do know how much I loved it.

My impressions of it? (1) It was so fascinating and attractive. (2) Everyone was talking about how good it was. (3) At first taste, it was so sweet, but then it disappeared in my mouth. (I did not know it was mostly air mixed with two tablespoons of sugar). (4) It promised so much and gave such instant gratification that I wanted more and more.

Now think of the many parallels between my impression of cotton candy and the nature of sin. Sometimes great lessons come from the simplest sources.

Sin and cotton candy are so fascinating and attractive. Think about the fruit in the first garden. Think of David’s view of Bathsheba from his rooftop. We so often sin when our hearts lust for what we see (Jas. 1:14). However, there is far more to sin when we look at the larger picture.

Sin and cotton candy are enjoyed by so many. That expensive cost of the floss in St. Louis did not keep individuals from buying it. So many thought that if others found it so “rewarding” they just had to try it, regardless of the cost. There are many on that broad way toward destruction (Matt. 7:13-14). There is that Divine instruction about following the multitude (Ex. 23:2).

Sin and cotton candy both promise so much and deliver so little. There is almost no nutritional value to cotton candy—it is nothing but air. Sin properly understood is in reality nothing but “fluff” that brings eternal destruction. When sin is finished it brings death and bondage (Jas. 1:15; 2 Pet. 2:20).

Sin and cotton candy both create a longing to have more and more. Every sin can become an addiction which brings us into bondage and is so addictive. Sin seems to satisfy but only for such a short time. The real choices are instant gratification or eternal reward.

Isn’t it strange how often great spiritual or eternal truths come from such simple sources!

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