For he satisfies the thirsty, and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107:9
If you take a good look at the picture of one of the now several candy buckets we have in our home-our constant reminder of Halloween-you will see something is missing. It is the chocolate and caramel covered cookie that comes wrapped in the tantalizing and dazzling gold wrapper. The sweet goodness known as Twix. Yes, I dug through several buckets of candy and confiscated every one of those miniature candy bars!
“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12
In truth, all things really are not lawful for me, especially cookies, even chocolate and caramel covered ones. Although they are certainly good, cookies, cakes, breads, and anything else of the like are not good and helpful to me. But, when those Twix are in my kitchen taunting me and calling my name, I forget my intolerance to wheat. I forget that my body is a temple to be taken care of and cherished as the image of God. I forget once again that the devil is appealing to one of my earthly desires-food and chocolate. I dive right into the bucket for just one, then just one more. Oh, heck, this is the last one, I promise! Until one Twix has become six!
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age. Titus 2:11-12
See, I lack self-control when it comes to many things, and food happens to be one of them. Cookies, candy, Doritos, Utz Crab chips, and a homecooked or Mexican dish all appeal to my taste buds. Yes, I am small. I am petite, and I am blessed with my parents’ “thin” genes, but it doesn’t mean I don’t have a hard time controlling myself with a plate of nachos, at the dessert buffet, or with a bucket of Halloween candy. It doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with resisting fried chicken, burgers, fries, or pizza-all the things that are “lawful,” but certainly not helpful to my body.
Although our problems with the temptation of overindulging on food seems like small potatoes in terms of sin, the Bible is clear about our desire and temptation to place a large amount of emphasis and time on food. Proverbs 23:2-3 is clear about our cravings: Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive.
Sure, food is essential for our health and to sustain life, but it should not rule our hearts and minds. God wants our “cravings” to be for Him, not the Twix in the candy jar.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not uncommon to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
Our escape from temptation can begin with a reliance on Him to help us with our self-control and the willpower to overcome our desires for the things that are not helpful. It is saying, “No,” to the Twix, and picking up the Bible to chew on God’s Word instead. It is craving more time with Him before dinner, instead of succumbing to the craving of Chinese takeout. It is knowing that only God will satisfy this sweet tooth, and that only He can give the sweetness of life for which we all thirst-something that a bucket full of Twix will never do!