It is dangerous for me to have sweets around my house. I have this philosophy that sometimes you just have to eat them all at once to get rid of them rather than keeping them around for a long time.
I just ate the last piece of cake. Thankfully, I only saved three pieces and gave the rest to my college son going back to school. But still. I ate. All. Three. Pieces. Or was it four?
The Godiva chocolates sitting on my desk will not be around very long either. I’m going to put them out of their misery soon. They just sit there tempting me until I am no longer tempted. That usually takes about three of those decadent “melt-in-your-mouth” confections to push me into the “no more!” end-zone.
Sometimes I wonder why my husband buys candy for me. He wants me to be healthy and skinny, so why buy a gift that dooms me to weight gain and pimples?
What tempts you? Are you always disgusted with yourself after you’ve splurged?
Why do we do this?
We’re in good company. Paul fought the same struggle–his may not have been linked to a sweet tooth, but the heart struggle was the same.
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. . . . I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. . . . So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin and death at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! (Romans 7:15,18,21-24)
The words “sinful nature” were translated from the Greek word Sarx. This word literally means “flesh of a living creature as opposed to a dead one.” (Chuckle.) But our Sarx though alive is accompanied with a dead stench because this word also refers to “the corrupt nature of men.” (Key Word NIV, 1671)
We’re born with it.
As I’ve pondered this whole fight against eating bad foods, though it may seem ridiculous on the sin scale, I’ve been reminded that Eve’s temptation involved eating something too.
Who ever thought a piece of fruit would get you in trouble?
But the truth is: the problem doesn’t lie in the chocolate or the apple. It lies in the mind and the heart.
When a healthy person makes me feel guilty for eating candy, it only makes me feel guilty, it doesn’t change my desire to eat celery. It almost makes me want to eat more Girl Scout Cookies–out of spite. (My Sarx raises its ugly head.)
Paul explained that the purpose of the Law was to distinguish sin but it could never change our hearts. It was needed, but its purpose was never salvation.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. . . . Those who live according to the sinful nature (sarx) have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. . . ” (Romans 8: 1, 5-8).
The solution to my bad habit could be to throw away the chocolates, but that would be wasteful and perhaps hurtful to my honey. (I’m sure after reading this post, he will not buy me chocolates for Valentines Day again!)
But rather than throwing away the blessing, I’m choosing to make it one. Instead of fighting the temptation, I will focus my mind of the Spirit rather than the chocolate thanking God for the husband that bought the treats and the amazing delicacies God Himself created in this world like sweet things that melt in your mouth. I have a feeling that the temptation to eat the whole box will weaken.
Instead of beating myself up which seems to fuel the temptation rather than snuff it, I’m going to spend those moments of temptation thanking God for His Holy Spirit in me and my salvation. I’m going to put my thoughts on things above and enjoy the peace and hope those thoughts bring.
I’m choosing to live in grace. I’ll let you know how this helps with my temptations to eat unhealthy things.
What about you? Will you join me in this quest to live in grace, and thankfulness, and focusing your mind on heavenly things when your SARX raises its ugly head? Leave a comment so I can be praying for you.
Living with purpose beyond today,