There once was a brewer who inherited from his father the recipe for the most perfect drink ever consumed by man. Everyone who drank it seemed to taste different notes—saffron and nutmeg, clove and cardamom. For some, these tastes went down bitterly…and yet the aftertaste was gloriously sweet, and no one who left after tasting the drink was dissatisfied or thirsty in the least. News of this perfect brew spread, and the brewer invited anyone with an appetite for a drink to come and have a taste. The only stipulation to drink it was that you had to drink at his establishment. There was nowhere else that this perfect drink could be found.
As word got around, intrigued people came from far and wide to sample the brew. And as the establishment flourished and grew, the brewer had to hire servers to help him distribute the high demand for the drink. All were welcome to apply who were interested in satisfying the thirsty populace. Business was booming. People were being satisfied and sent away happy.
And then, one day, the brewer walked out to find one of his long-time servers preparing a pitcher of the drink—and quietly watering it down. He stopped the man and asked him what he was doing, and the server answered with a smile, “Well, the drink is great, there’s no denying that. But a few people were complaining that the spices were too strong. You know, the cinnamon, the hint of chili powder, the clove. I decided to water it down to be more palatable. That will just increase your revenue, if people know they can come for a drink that won’t be harsh to the palate.”
The brewer looked at him for a long, long moment. Then he smiled sadly, and shook his head. “I know that the brew burns going down. That’s the point. What’s beneficial for us is not always easy. But I gave you something that was perfect and pure and true. Why would you water it down so that it would be more palatable? What you’re offering them isn’t the real brew…it’s an imitation. True, it will never cause them discomfort…but it will also never really satisfy them. Is it truly worth giving these people a pale imitation of the greatness, simply because it’s more comfortable for them?”
The brewer asked a good question, didn’t he? Why would we ever water down what is pure and true, even if it hurts, just to give people something painless…something that will not fulfill their hearts or set them free?