Friday, September 2, 2016
While dining with a ruler, pay attention to what is put before you. If you are a big eater, put a knife to your throat; don’t desire all the delicacies, for he might be trying to trick you. Proverbs 23:1-3 (NLT)
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NLT)
God has much to say about gluttony, and the principles that we can glean from His Word are more than just profitable at the dinner table; these principles spill-over into many other areas of living.
Grandma Brownworth had a saying (she actually had one for about everything); she would say: Enough is too much. And that is a wise saying, human nature being what it is. John D. Rockefeller was one of the richest men of his time, and he was asked how much money is enough? His answer: Just a little bit more!
My grandmother never met Garfield the cat. Garfield and John are watching television...the cat is shouting "Go! Go! Go!" John says: "Garfield that monster shark just ate Tokyo. Why are you cheering for it?" With a sly smile Garfield answers: "Anything that eats everything can't be all bad."
As a teenager I recall (faintly) that the preacher had cautioned that there were many forbidden fruit in life...illicit sex, booze, smoking and cussing. As an adult I've been warned to be honest in business, not to cheat on the IRS. And now....THIS! I’m warned to behave at the dinner table!
I can think of a whole lot of other sins that are higher on my Better-Not-Do-That list than overeating. But, if there is any sin that leads me slowly, deliciously, but inevitably into other sins, it is a gluttonous attitude.
What does a sensible, sincere disciple of Jesus Christ do when he or she reads God’s word? We apply the principles of our Master's teaching to the way we live. Paul says...Whatever you do, do everything, in every way, in every day, in every place, no matter who is watching, so that God receives glory.
The natural response for the Christian who really cares to follow Christ is to ask the question: Does what I’m about to do glorify God? But I think it goes beyond that when we talk about the daily temptation we face.
If we can begin to view temptation (in every form, not just the craving for Häagen-Dazs® Rocky Road), as an opportunity to prove/love God, we will begin to apply the principle of faith to overcome.
James says (1:2) to be joyful when temptation comes.
Paul says (Ro 12:2) to prove God's will by being changed/transformed.
Give me nuts and bolts for that...How do you do it?
At the risk of over-simplification, a basic answer is:
Recognize temptation for what it is....
1. Visualize in your mind the results of acting on a temptation, both negative and positive
2. Make a conscious choice of the will for good, something POSITIVE....in the opposite direction from the temptation.
3. Pay attention as the Holy Spirit uses this good choice to effect transformation in your character! And give God thanks, and all the glory.
As a church, as families and as individuals we need to have restraint over our appetites and attitudes. And we should demonstrate that for the community in which we live, starting with food.
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