Many of you have been baking already for the Christmas season, in preparation for all of those parties and family gatherings. You have had “visions of sugarplums” dancing in your heads for weeks. And, if you are already regretting that fifth piece of pie at Thanksgiving, perhaps you’d better not read this post. 🙂
Emotions encourage us to eat. And Christmas is a very emotional, sentimental time of year for many of us, with lots of food memories connected with it. As a kid, it just wasn’t Christmas without Dad’s egg nog and the big snowman candy jar and popcorn balls in our stockings and heaps of stuffing with turkey (Dad used to cook Tom in a carefully handcrafted, precisely-folded-and-creased foil tent each year–this was before those nifty oven bags were around) and pie with gobs of Cool Whip. I’m sure you have memories of traditions you enjoyed as well.
I want to ask you, do you think succumbing to the excesses and indulgences of this season (or in general every day life for that matter) is biblical? Can you be living in obedience and at the same time stuff yourself so full of egg nog and fruitcake (ok…fruitcake would not be my choice…well, for a doorstop perhaps) that you have to lie down to get a reprieve from your waistband? Or is it perhaps okay to follow the philosophy of the “Weigh Down Workshop” and eat as much junk as you want, as long as you stop when you “feel full” (I did the WDW years ago before Gwen took some doctrinal directions which I could not endorse, and , FWIW, even then I had a problem with the “It’s a sin to eat if you do not feel hunger” idea–but that’s for another day)? And, let me say before we go on that if depression, disappointment or loneliness are driving you toward those mounds of goodies, food won’t heal you. It is a ruthless task master, offering immediate gratification that never lasts, and guilt and added pounds thrown into the bargain. Go here for some good beginning help, if this sounds like you, dear friend.
Have you ever noticed that there are lots of nodding heads, and hearty “Amen”s when “the really bad sins” (be careful you don’t Catholicize your view of sin) are preached about…the ones regarding which we don’t view ourselves as guilty? Reality check–
In Proverbs 6:16-19, it is stated that “(16) These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:” (quotes from King James Version (KJV) translation of the Bible). These are:
- (17) A proud look,
- a lying tongue,
- and hands that shed innocent blood,
- (18) A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations,
- feet that be swift in running to mischief,
- (19) A false witness that speaketh lies,
- and he that soweth discord among brethren.
Now, you tell me…of which of the above have you not been guilty? Perhaps shedding innocent blood with your hands…but what about character assasination?? That’s pretty “big”. Further, there’s lots more where these six came from, and, (this is what we often choose to ignore–esp. around the holidays), gluttony is among them.
“Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe [a man] with rags.” Prov. 23:20,21
About v. 20, the Jamieson, Faucette and Brown commentary says:
20. riotous . . . flesh–prodigal, or eating more than necessary. Instead of “their flesh”, better, “flesh to them,” that is, used for pleasure.
Ouch. But what about all my favorite cookies, and piling up my plate so high at Christmas dinner that I can’t see around it to get from the buffet back to my seat? What about that candy dish that whispers sweet nothings to me every time I pass by? See? I warned you that you’d better not read this post. Perhaps this is more suitable as a post-binge post...a “New Year’s Resolution” post. Eh? 😉
All I’m saying is, have balance. And, no, that doesn’t mean you get two plates and make them of equal weight in each hand. Temperance. That’s what we’re talking about.
“And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they [do it] to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” 1 Cor. 9:25
As soldiers, we have no reprieve from “striving”. And, as stewards of our temples, we need to be careful what we put into them. I have friends who could wax eloquent on the evils of sugar, caffeine, refined flour, preservatives, food additives and “bad fats”. They’re probably right. Try and eat a few more live things this Christmas (no, not crawling…stuff with real nutrients that hasn’t been processed to death, ya know?) Maybe this whole idea is easier for me to swallow (pun intended) this year because refined flour is now on my taboo list…
Be victorious this holiday season. You be the one to call the shots. Enjoy a few treats (I love turkey, green bean casserole and those little raspberry candies with the goo inside just as much as the rest of you)…but don’t be mastered by the gingerbread man. This is the only body you get…help it to last, and glorify Him in it (1 Cor. 6:19,20).
We’ll have a weigh-in after New Year’s.