May 30, 2017
Colossians 2:8 - See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
My mother used to say that every day a person ought to learn something. Now that "something" doesn't have to be a big something; it just should be something. Today I am pleased that I have learned the definition of a term -- a term I had never heard being used before. Now, if you haven't yet managed to learn something today, let me share that knowledge with you.
The term is "slack fill." Would you like to take a guess as to what slack fill means?
No, it has nothing to do with a pair of jeans which, having been washed in hot water and thrown in the dryer, are overly tight.
Slack fill is the term various industries use to explain why their big boxes of stuff are only half-filled with product. Did you ever buy a box of breakfast cereal and, having opened it, found you needed a flashlight to see where the contents began? That's slack fill in action. Manufacturers say slack fill happens two ways: it can happen accidentally when the product settles, or it happens deliberately because a product needs room to breathe.
No matter how you look at it, slack fill means you have more container than product.
This is a fact not lost on a Missouri man who is suing Hershey's Chocolate for the small amount of candy he received when he bought a box of Reese's Pieces and Whoppers. The man, Robert Bratton, says his Reese's® Piece's box had about 29 percent empty space, and the Whoppers had a, well, there's no other way to say it -- it had a whopping 41 percent of empty.
As of right now, nobody knows what the outcome of the suit will be. Hershey's wants legalities to cease immediately since everybody understands the idea of slack fill, and the amounts of candy are printed on the box. Mr. Bratton says that everybody does not understand slack fill, and he wants the court to decide how much empty carton is too much empty carton.
I'm sure the court will eventually decide those differences. Sadly, there is no earthly court with the authority -- or ability -- to rule on the differences between the Lord's truth and Satan's slack fill.
When the devil tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, his promises were slack filled. He promised they would be just like God, that they would be just as smart as God, that the Lord's warnings about the forbidden fruit were ridiculous and could be discarded without any negative repercussions or ramifications.
It was a fancy package that Adam and Eve bought. In doing so they bought a fancy package that failed to deliver on its promises and enticements.
In contrast, we have the words of the Faithful, Holy Lord. What He says is -- you should excuse the expression -- the Gospel truth. When He says, the soul which sins will die (see Ezekiel 18:20), you can believe it. When He says faith in the Savior is the only path to heaven, you had better trust Him. Maybe that's why the Bible says, "Thy Word is truth" (see John 17:17) rather than "The Bible is slack full."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, it is one thing to be deceived by half-full boxes; it is quite another to buy into Satan's pseudo-truths. Let my faith always be placed in and centered on the Savior whose life was spent taking away the sins of the world. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Michael Hartorne for Newser on May 20, 2017. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written. Please click here.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries