Diet soda usually tastes funny the first time someone tries it. It has to grow on us. Most diet sweeteners are only substitutes for the real thing- sugar. There are many varieties of these sweeteners and all sorts of things we can put them in and mix them with.
And there are artificial sweeteners in life that our teens are poisoning themselves with. It is the world's view of life's sweetness: Premarital sex, drugs, alcohol, pornography, foul language, treating each other with great disrespect, rebellion, violence, an unrealistic goal of beauty.
The world's definition of what makes life sweet and desirable is false. It is an imiation of the true sweetness.
But teens usually are making big decisions on their own and their life view is a mixture of what they learn in church, from peers, from the media and at school. And when life gets dull, when decisions get hard, when waves start to crash around them and their prayers seem to fall on deaf ears they look to the artificial sweeteners.
The problem with artificial sweeteners is once you get used to the taste, they seem sweet enough but don't really satisfy the sweet tooth. The longing of a person's Spirit is still left unsatisfied but without being able to identify that the need is much deeper than a quick fix, they continue to poison themselves with more and more artificial sweetener. It's like trying to scratch that spot on your back you can't quite reach, so you keep scratching the spot closest to it but the itch persists. The desire for true sweetness of life will persist.
And like an abused dog, these people have been bloodied and beaten. They lay on the side of life's highway and when offered a hand, they simply asked to be kicked some more. They wish to have no life left, for all of it to be drained for the sake of trying to scratch an itch that just won't go away.