Confession time: I went on vacation and blew it with my eating.
After thinking about what happened, I realized what caused me to stumble: It was the lure of “new and improved food.”
What do I mean?
When you travel, do you anticipate:
- Eating food you’ve never eaten before (new food)?
- Eating familiar food, but prepared a new way (improved food)?
That’s what happened to me. What else can explain my desire to try a new restaurant that promised “gourmet grilled cheese?”
Now there isn’t anything wrong with eating “new and improved food” on vacation, but my problem was that I ate too much of it.
The definition of gluttony is an “over-consumption of food or drink to the point of waste.”
I wasted food by eating what my body did not need.
I feared that if I didn’t eat it then, I’d never get the opportunity to eat it again.
That same fear of scarcity caused me to gain extreme amounts of weight when I had a job traveling.
But on vacation, I forgot about those consequences.
In a way, I was like the children of Israel in Numbers 11:4-6. God was feeding them with manna, but they complained about it.
Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!”
What is wrong with this picture? They forgot they were slaves in Egypt!
They may have eaten freely, but they were not free.
They suffered hard labor and Pharaoh was in control over their very lives.
They lived in fear for their male babies’ lives as Pharaoh had ordered them murdered as soon as they were born.
Isn’t sin just like that?
You remember “the good times,” forgetting all the pain and grief that comes with it.
You may indulge your flesh freely, but you are not free because doing so puts you in bondage.
Contrast the Israelites response with Jesus’ response in Matthew 4:1-4.
Jesus had been fasting for 40 days; the Israelites had access to food, but didn’t appreciate it.
Their tongues craved something else. Their only concern was satisfying themselves.
When the devil tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread to satisfy His hunger, Jesus said,
“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”– Matthew 4:4
In fact, in every temptation the devil presented to Jesus, Jesus responded with focus back to God rather than Himself:
- “You shall not tempt the Lord your God. “
- “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”
I’ll be traveling again in a few months. Like Jesus, I desire to glorify God with the fruit of self-control in my eating.
That desire does not end when I go on vacation!
This is an agreement I’ve made with myself to settle this issue:
I have the mind of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 2:16 and Romans 7:25).
- I set my mind on the things of the Spirit daily so that I can live according to the Spirit (Romans 8:5). I set my mental thermostat first thing in the morning every day to show love to others, to love God, and to seek His glory in every choice I make.
- By the Holy Spirit’s power, I put to death the deeds of my body so that I can live and declare the works of the Lord (see Romans 8:13 and Psalm 118:17).
- The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in me (Romans 8:18).
- My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. I am not my own; I was bought with a price. Jesus shed His blood for me and His body was broken for me. Therefore, I glorify God in my body and spirit, which belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
- I will make a straight path to walk regarding my eating – keeping those foods that keep me emotionally stable close to me, keeping the ones that tempt me to binge away from me.
I am telling you all of this to be accountable to you. With God’s help, I won’t let the lure of “new and improved food” hook me again.
In the meantime, I’ll keep sharing the lessons God continues to teach me. We can do this together!