I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve started a new diet. I’m sure that number is staggering, and so is how many times I’ve started an exercise program. Each time I start one of these “get healthy” adventures, I have the best intentions, and I always say, “this time, I am really going to do it.”
I will clean out my refrigerator, get rid of all the sweet treats in the cabinets, get out the measuring tape, and hop on the scale. The first week is easy because I’m enthusiastic about the idea of being healthy, fitting into my clothes, and feeling better. The second week gets a little more challenging because the scale isn’t moving as fast as I would like it to, my muscles are sore from the exercise, and I am starting to feel like I am depriving myself.
In the third week, here come the excuses. I think I will skip today’s exercises because I’m swamped, and one day won’t hurt anything. I’ve only been drinking water, but I think I’ll have a diet coke with my lunch, it’s zero calories, so it can’t be bad. That is the start of the end. The one day of skipping becomes a one day of doing. The little diet changes start to include an occasional snack or just a slice of cake since it is someone’s birthday.
So many Sundays, I’ll have someone leave a comment saying the post seemed to have been written just for them. That is how I felt this past week when I listened to a GLUTTONY sermon.
Gluttony means the habitual greed or excess in eating. I am guilty of this, so I’m sitting here with my hand raised high. My children have even teased me for saying, “I am so stuffed that I can’t eat another bite,” and then two minutes later, I take another bite.
I don’t think of my overindulging as gluttony, but that is precisely what it is. I eat past the point of need and turn it into want. I want a dessert for my date night, but I don’t need the dessert. It is a treat for me, but it isn’t the fuel my body needs.
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
Was it gluttony that caused Adam and Eve to sin? We blame it on the devil, but they had the entire Garden to eat from, except one tree. Wouldn’t you consider that want instead of need? They were not hungry, the Lord had provided more than enough for them, but they let the thought of being deprived drive them to sin.
1 Corinthians 6: 19-20
19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
I’ve thought that my overindulgence only hurt me, but that isn’t exactly true. It can hurt your finances, your family, and the Lord. Food costs are crazy, so eating more than I need can put a dent in our bank account. Eating foods that aren’t good for me can cause health problems that might take years off my life, and that would hurt my family. But, all of that doesn’t even compare to the realization that “I” am a temple that houses the Holy Spirit.
In the Old Testament, you might be struck dead if you entered the Temple of God incorrectly, and here I am stuffing His temple with a Twinkie. This temple is expensive; it was bought and paid for by the blood of Christ, and yet I treat it callously.
The biggest problem that I have is that I am human. I let my desires win over my discipline. My willpower is weak because it isn’t a muscle I exercise frequently. According to some books that I’ve read, your willpower gets stronger the more you use it. Discipline can become a desire if it is done long enough.
For Lent, I decided to make time for my daily devotions the first thing in the morning. I don’t check emails, work on the blog, and approve comments until my devotion time is over. Breaking the habit of grabbing my phone to scroll was hard. There are still mornings when I struggle, but because I’ve been disciplined, I am starting to desire my morning time more and more.
This week, let’s work on our discipline muscle. Start small (progress over perfection) and create a healthy habit. Maybe you want to replace your sodas with water, perhaps you want to cut out sweets, or maybe you want to take a walk after dinner. I will be right there with you this week, so don’t feel like you are by yourself. Truthfully, you are never really alone; ask the Holy Spirit for strength, and know He will be there for you.
To God Goes The Glory!
Have A Blessed Day!